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NHS Dental Care

Mouth Cancer Awareness

Patient are now increasing becoming aware that dentists does not only provide fillings, dentures, dental implants or gum treatments etc. but play a very important role in saving lives. These examinations and screenings are done at patient routine visits and form part of your regular check-up.

Macmillan support line

In the UK, more than 7,800 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year and globally there are in excess of 300,000 new cases every year.

The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown by around a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years.

Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anyone – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for. Important message

  • Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks.
  • Macmillan Cancer SupportDon’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth.
  • Early detection could save your life. If you notice any changes in your mouth speak to a dentist or doctor immediately.
How can I make sure that my mouth stays healthy? 
-Visit a dentist regularly even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.
-When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth or neck. Early warning signs include ulcers that do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, or other unusual changes in the mouth or neck.
-When exposed to the sun, make sure to use the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.
-Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, helps the body to protect itself from most cancers.
-Avoid the risk factors for mouth cancer. These include:
 
  • Smoking tobacco – cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars, pipes or cannabis.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Using tobacco and alcohol together - this greatly increases your risk.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight or radiation (for lip cancer).
  • Chewing tobacco, betelguid, gutkha and paan.
  • A diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.
  • Viral infections, e.g., human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can be spread through oral sex.
 
Courtesy of Macmillan Cancer Support
Understanding Head and Neck cancer