Mouth cancer is one of the few cancers in the UK which has seen cases rise in recent years and this is expected to continue in the coming years. However, with early diagnosis, nine in ten people can survive mouth cancer.
Oral health checks and visual examinations are the best way to identify any suspicious lesions. Another great reason to ensure you book in for your dental examination.
When you come in for your appointment the dentist will ask you a number of lifestyle questions. If you smoke, drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol per week, are over 50 or use chewing or smokeless tobacco these factors can increase your risk of developing mouth cancer.
The dentist will then perform a methodical examination of your mouth to detect any abnormalities. They will use a mirror to check all the tissue in your mouth including your tongue and the sides of your mouth.
If the dentist finds anything of concern, they will refer you to the local hospital for a specialist to perform a thorough examination of your mouth and throat. If the cells turn out to be cancerous then the consultant will be able to advise on the best course of treatment.
If mouth cancer is spotted early the chances of a complete cure are very good and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure. However too many people do not visit their dentist for routine appointments so often any problems are noticed too late.
Top tips to ensure that your mouth stays healthy
- Visit your dentist for regular appointments so that any problems can be identified early and treated quickly.
- Look out for any red or white patches or ulcers that do not clear up within three weeks
- Ensure you have a full a varied diet, rich in vitamins. Plenty of fruit and vegetables can help the body protect itself from most cancers.
- Cut down on the amount you smoke and drink
- When out in the sun be sure to use a high factor sun cream on your face and neck and a barrier cream on your lips.
If you are concerned about any changes in your mouth or would like advice on reducing your risk of developing mouth cancer, call College Dental Surgeries on 01622 752340 and book a consultation today.