MOUTH CANCER ACTION MONTH AND THE IMPORTANCE OF DENTAL CHECKUPS

why a dental check up could save your life

November sees the return of Mouth Cancer Action Month – one of the most important campaigns in the AP Smilecare calendar. Designed to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer, the month-long initiative offers plenty of ways to get involved. It’s also a reminder of how crucial good oral health is and why it’s important to visit your dentist. After all, a dental check-up could save your life.

RESEARCH REVEALS WORRYING STATISTICS

cancer ribbon in hand

The Oral Health Foundation, the charity behind the campaign, released new statistics to mark the start of Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016. Their latest research reveals that just 40% of adults are able to identify the main symptoms of mouth cancer. Furthermore, almost 20% of those surveyed said they would not seek help from a medical professional if they had a mouth ulcer that lasted longer than three weeks. This is perhaps the most worrying statistic of all – especially since non-healing mouth ulcers are a key symptom of mouth cancer.

About the seriousness of mouth cancer, Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said:

“In the UK, mouth cancer cases have increased by 39% in the last decade alone and by 92% since the 1970s.

“Unfortunately survival rates have not improved in the last 20 years either, that is why it is vitally important that everyone is more Mouthaware.

“Early diagnosis transforms a person’s chances of beating the disease from 50 per cent to 90 percent so it is crucial that everybody knows what to look out for. If you have any of the warning signs of mouth cancer it is vitally important that you visit your dentists straight away, it could save your life.”

 

MOUTH CANCER: WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

dentist inspecting mouth

Mouth cancer can affect anyone, so it’s important to recognise the main symptoms of the disease. These include:

  • Sore mouth ulcers that don’t heal within a few weeks
  • Persistent lumps in the mouth
  • Persistent lumps in the lymph glands in the neck

Other symptoms may include unexplained weight loss; pain or difficulty when swallowing; red or white patches in the mouth, and bleeding in the mouth.

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms for a period of time (three weeks plus) it’s important to visit your dentist or GP.  During an appointment, we’ll carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and discuss any symptoms you may have to check for mouth cancer. We’ll also tell you how to self-examine at home, so you can look after your oral health in the long term. To book in for a routine examination, give the team a call today on 01254 297 000.

Don’t forget that we offer cosmetic treatments too. Whether you want to transform your smile for Christmas or dream of pearly whites for your New Year’s celebration, you can discover our whole range of fantastic treatments today.

 

Has your dentist ever diagnosed a health or mouth condition before you were aware of it? If so, share your story with us over on Twitter @APSmilecare

Posted on: 4th Nov, 2016