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Oral cancer, which is sometimes referred to as mouth cancer, is a head and neck cancer which occurs mostly in people aged 40-60, though it can strike at any age. Symptoms of mouth cancer may include lumps, bumps or knobs of cancerous tissue in the oral cavity, oral sores that don’t go away, and loose teeth. Every regular check-in with our team includes a cancer screening for oral cancer, but here are some more things you should understand about oral cancer.

Chiefly, you should be aware of the risk factors for mouth cancer. The greatest risk factors of oral cancer are alcohol and tobacco use. If you smoke or drink and are between 40 and 60 years old, give serious thought to curbing these habits; it might be the best decision you could make for your oral health! Other important risk factors include human papillomavirus (HPV), excess sun exposure to the lips and weakened immune systems.

As always, you should visit a professional if you are suspicious that you have mouth cancer or if you have several of the risk factors, but there are a few things you can do by yourself. Using a mirror, pull your cheeks and inspect your mouth’s roof, cheeks, gums, floor, tongue and throat; look for any bumps or knobs. Also, inspect your neck and jaw for any bumps.

Ready for your next oral cancer screening? When you visit our Vestavia Hills, Alabama, office, our dentist will inspect your mouth and neck for oral cancer. Please give us a call now at 205-979-8070 to schedule your next appointment. Dr. Roy A. Smith, III and our team at Rocky Ridge Dental Associates will be excited to see you!