Supporting Mouth Cancer Action Month
November has been Mouth Cancer Action Month, but did you know that dentist professionals are at the forefront of diagnosis and referral?
When you visit your dentist for your routine check- up or treatment, they will also be looking at your full mouth including soft tissues, tongue, cheeks, lips etc. These checks are vital to ensure that your mouth is healthy and that there are no changes or abnormalities since your last dental visit. This is just as important as getting your teeth checked and regular attendance to see your dentist is essential.
Mouth cancer occurs in around 6,767 British people each year, that’s around 18 people each day!! Early diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment.
Everyone’s mouth is different and you should be aware of what is normal for you and regularly check for changes or abnormalities. The mouth is a very sensitive part of the body and it is important to keep it healthy.
Mouth cancer is more common in men than women. Many cases are caused by lifestyle choices that can increase the risk of contracting mouth cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of mouth cancer, tobacco mixes with the saliva in your mouth to create a deadly cocktail of toxins which irreversibly damages the cells in your mouth which can then become malignant.
Alcohol also dramatically increases your risk of mouth cancer. Heavy alcohol consumption is the cause of mouth cancer in over a third of cases. As a heavy drinker or smoker you are around 35 times more likely to develop mouth cancer than someone who is a non-smoker and infrequent alcohol consumer.
Mouth cancer appears in different forms but the more common signs and symptoms are a painless mouth ulcer that doesn’t heal, a swelling or change of colour to the soft tissues and sometimes redness. A regular mouth ulcer can be quite painful and usually takes between 2-3 weeks to heal. If they are not healing or improving after this time it would be best to seek advice from your dentist.
Mouth cancer can be fatal so an early diagnosis increases survival rate from 50% to 90% that’s a 40% increase! We’re all used to checking our bodies for unusual lumps or bumps and so taking two minutes once a month to check your mouth could save your life.
At Woodborough House we believe in the research and support that the British Dental Health Foundation provides to patients that are suffering or have suffered in the past from mouth cancer. Therefore we have made a donation of £100 to the Mouth Cancer Foundation charity for national mouth cancer action month.