Cases of mouth cancer are rising, and this condition has a worrying proportion of deaths per number of cases when compared with other forms of cancer, such as cervical or breast cancer or skin melanoma. A major factor in this figure is late diagnosis.
Approximately 2,700 people die from mouth cancer in the UK every year. That’s why, at The Dental Surgery Burnham, we provide mouth cancer screening as standard for all patients during your regular dental check-up. Your dentist is in a prime position to spot early symptoms – even those that you yourself may not have noticed yet.
Mouth cancer, also referred to as oral cancer, can develop anywhere in the soft tissues of the mouth. Common sites include the tongue, lips, and gums, while tumours can also appear in the tonsils, the salivary glands, and the pharynx.
Common symptoms of mouth cancer
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor or dentist immediately, even if you are not due to have a check-up in the near future. Remember that early detection is vital to beating mouth cancer, as it is with any type of cancer, and the sooner it is spotted the better your chances of making a good recovery are.
- Red or white patches in the mouth or on the tongue
- Persistent ulcers that do not heal
- A lump (painful or painless)
- Persistent pain in the mouth
- Teeth that become loose for no apparent reason
- Pain/difficulty when swallowing
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck
- Changes to your voice
- Difficulty moving your jaw
If you notice any of these or anything else unusual, contact your dentist immediately. During a mouth cancer check, your dentist will carefully examine the soft tissues of your mouth. They will use a special handheld scanning device to examine any lumps or lesions that they discover, and if anything suspicious is found they will immediately refer you to a hospital consultant for further investigation. Quick treatment saves lives, so if you notice anything unusual with your mouth or have any areas of concern, please contact us today for a mouth cancer check-up.