November sees the practice promoting Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, with the focus being that regular checks by the dentist and hygienist can catch the disease earlier. We perform a mouth cancer check at every appointment.
The importance of these regular oral cancer checks is highlighted by a recent study that found the number of patients diagnosed with the disease is on the increase, by around 50% since the year 2000. The British Dental Health Foundation, the organisation raising awareness of the disease have found that there were over 7500 new cases of the disease in 2011. However, if caught early enough, the chances of survival could be as high as 90%. Another good reason for regular screening at your dental checks!
Oral cancer is caused by a number of factors including smoking, excessive drinking and poor diet, as well as the presence of HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus.
The advice we give to patients is to have regular checks of the tissues in the mouth at your dental appointments and if in doubt, get it checked out! Ulcers that won’t go away, any patches – red or white – lumps or bumps, come in and let us take a look. Remember – early detection is key!