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According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 48,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States in 2016. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard palate, and tonsils. Oral cancers can be life threatening if they are not detected, diagnosed, and treated early. Symptoms of oral cancer include:

– A lump or rough spot
– Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or using your tongue and jaw
– A change in your bite
– A persistent sore or irritation
– Red, white, or speckled patches
– Pain or numbness in the mouth

As part of your routine dental exam at Smile Time Family Dentistry, Dr. Wendy McCurdy will perform an oral cancer screening. Our dentist will check for lumps or irregular tissues in your head, neck, face, and oral cavity. Your mouth will then be examined for sores or discolored tissue. Our dentist will also check for the symptoms listed above. If any suspicious tissue is located, she may recommend a biopsy, during which a tissue sample is tested for cancer. A biopsy can detect oral cancer early on, before it has a chance to spread and progress.

We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about oral cancer screening in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and to schedule an appointment with our dentist.