In UK only, each year, more than 1,800 people loose their life to mouth cancer. Most of the cases are link to use of alcohol and cigarette smoking. If the cancer was caught early enough many of these deaths could be prevented
Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men. However,research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger people and in women.
Mouth cancer can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. It can appear in different forms.
What symptoms to look out for:
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
- Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
- A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
- Swellings or thickenings, lumps, bumps, rough spots on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
- White and red patches in the mouth
- Difficulty to swallow or chew
- Difficulty to speak or moving the jaw or tongue
- Chronic sore throat or change in voice
- A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
What to do to prevent mouth cancer:
- Don’t smoke
- If you drink alcohol, keep it moderate
- Look out for any changes in your mouth
- When in the sun, use good protective sun cream on your skin as well as your lips
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups
Very often mouth cancer can be spotted in early stage by dentist during a thorough mouth examination. The chances of cure are good if mouth cancer is detected early. Unfortunately, many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.
It is important to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.
At Guildford Dental Practice we provide oral cancer screening as part of our regular check-up.