November signals the start of Mouth Cancer Action Month, a campaign run annually by the Oral Health Foundation to raise awareness about the disease and how it can be prevented. By visiting Riverside Dental Spa for regular dental health check-ups you can rest assured that we will screen for oral cancer in our routine examinations, however there are steps that you can take to be more aware about the disease and symptoms to look out for.
Mouth Cancer Risk Factors
Whilst mouth cancer can affect anyone, at any age, whether they have their own teeth or not, there are some factors that can increase your risk, including:
- Drinking alcohol
- Poor diet that lacks in fruit and veg
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For
The treatment of mouth cancer very much depends upon how early it can be detected and the good news is that if caught early there is a 90% chance of survival. There are a wide range of symptoms, as the cancer can affect various areas inside the mouth, however you should not ignore:
- Mouth ulcers that don’t heal within 3 weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Lumps or swelling in the mouth, head or neck
Understanding the risk and being able to spot the early warning signs are so vital to survival which is why the Oral Health Foundation urge you to be Mouthaware this month, and throughout the year. Here are some simple checks you can carry out at home:
- Check both sides of your face and neck in the mirror to look for any signs of swelling
- Feel your lips for lumps and bumps and pull down your lower lip to check for any sores or changes in colour
- Pull out your cheek with your fingers so you can check the inside for any red, white or dark patches
- Run your finger along the roof and floor of your mouth to check for any lumps
Remember that 18 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer every day, so please don’t ignore any warning signs.
Call us to make an appointment today if you spot something in your mouth that doesn’t look quite right and remember that regular dental check-ups are one of the best ways to prevent against Mouth Cancer.