Raise your awareness with Mouth Cancer Action month

3rd november

Did you know that November is Mouth Cancer Action month? The charity campaign sets out to raise awareness of mouth cancer across the UK, making a real difference to people’s lives through early detection and prevention.

More than 6,700 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year – and that’s just in the UK. Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease – smoking, excessive alcohol intake, HPV, second-hand tobacco smoke and poor diet – mouth cancer can affect anyone, so knowing what to look out for is increasingly important.

So, what are the symptoms?

  • Ulcers which do not heal in three weeks
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swelling in the mouth, head, or neck area

It’s really important to be aware of these symptoms – if caught early enough the chances of surviving mouth cancer are good. Unfortunately, the poor awareness of symptoms to date has meant many cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed at stage four, which is just too late to recover from.

How can I prevent mouth cancer?

Obviously, avoiding the risk factors described above will go a long way in protecting your overall health, however the importance of six monthly check ups with your dentist cannot be underestimated.

At each dental examination we’ll carry out a visual examination to check for the early signs of mouth cancer. If you have any niggles or concerns, please do tell us and talk to us. We’ll be happy to talk you through the examination at the time, explaining what we are doing and discussing the overall state of your oral health.

Mouth cancer screening: what it involves

  • Checking your face and neck for lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of your face. We may feel the area along the side and front of your neck to check for lumps and tenderness.
  • Checking your lower and upper lip for sores and change in colour as well as feeling for lumps, bumps or changes in texture.
  • Inspecting the inside of your cheek, looking for red, white or dark patches. We will also feel for lumps, tenderness and ulcers.
  • Inspecting the roof of your mouth for lumps or changes in colour.
  • Examining your tongue and the underside of your tongue to look for changes in colour or texture as well as swelling and ulcers.
  • Looking at the floor of the mouth, keeping an eye out for changes in colour. We’ll also feel this area for any lumps, swelling and ulcers.

Long-term mouth health

Dental care, check-ups and long-term oral health are made easy with Denplan, our monthly payment scheme. You choose a cover plan to suit you and your annual dental needs, taking the hassle out of payment on the day and often saving you a significant amount of money.

Our Denplan Essentials cover gives you two routine examinations, two hygienist visits and covers X-rays and emergency appointments for just £13.50 a month. While our more comprehensive package, Denplan Care, covers all the above as well as additional hygienist visits when required and all routine dental treatment. The monthly price of this plan is dependent on the band of cover chosen, but it does give you peace of mind should anything go wrong with your teeth, gums or oral health in the future.

To find out more, give us a call on 01254 297 000.

Have you ever had a mouth cancer scare? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 6th Nov, 2014