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What is oral cancer? You may be asking yourself this, as the awareness levels surrounding it are relatively low. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so now is the perfect time to spread the word. Cancer of the mouth and upper throat collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day. About 60 percent of newly-diagnosed people who suffer from this cancer will live longer than five years. Our dentist in Mount Prospect wants to shed light on this disease and give you information on the warning signs.

Where it Begins

Squamous cells are the catalyst for oral cancer. They may appear in your throat or your mouth, including your tongue and your lips. These cells have a higher risk of forming for heavy tobacco users, heavy alcohol consumers, those infected with human papillomavirus, those with heavy sun exposure, and those who have a personal history of oral cancer.

Symptoms

If you notice that you’re developing patches in the inside of your mouth or on your lips, this could be a sign of oral cancer. You may also notice sores on your mouth or lips, bleeding and lose teeth. It’s also common to have difficulty talking or swallowing, lower lip numbness and persistent earaches.

Approximately 40,000 Americans are diagnosed annually. Don’t be another statistic! It’s important to brush and floss regularly as well as set up regular visits with our dentist in Mount Prospect. We want to make sure your smile is as healthy as possible.

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