Does your dentist check for mouth cancer?

26th November 2013

What is mouth cancer?

It is an abnormal group of cells which develops in the mouth, including the lips, the surface of the tongue, the roof and the floor of your mouth.

It can also develop in the tonsils, salivary glands and the beginning of the throat.

Which are the symptoms?
  • mouth ulcers that do not heal
  • swelling in your mouth
  • red or white (or both) patches
  • unexplained pain
  • pain while chewing or swallowing
  • difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • numbness of the tongue or other areas in the mouth
Which are the factors that increase the risk of mouth cancer?
  • Tobacco use, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is also related to genital warts
  • Poor diet
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Previous cancers and family history
  • Radiation
Who is affected?

This cancer is more common in men than women and more likely to occur in people aged over 40 years. Experts today, however, are concerned about rising numbers of this cancer in younger age groups.

In the UK, the numbers of new cases have risen by nearly 30 per cent over the last ten years. About 5,000 people get cancer of the mouth each year and the disease kills one person every five hours.

Treated in its early stages, mouth cancer is curable but if not detected early, it kills around one in two sufferers. A dentist is trained and in the best position to examine for early signs of this disease.

Bow Lane Dental ensures that all patients have an oral exam during their routine dental visit to screen for mouth cancer. This includes a thorough head and neck examination, where we feel the tissues in the mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities and examine the tissues to check for red or white patches or mouth ulcers. London dentists check for mouth cancer. All our dentists are accredited on the scheme by the mouth cancer foundation http://www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.

If we notice anything unusual, we then refer our patients to a specialist doctor for further tests and to confirm a diagnosis.

As with many cancers, the earlier mouth cancer is identified, the better your chances of a full recovery.

If you are worried about anything in your mouth please call the Bow Lane Team on 020 7236 3600 to get it checked out.

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