Taking care of your oral health is a team effort between you and us as your dental practice. You do most of the work, of course, with your twice-daily brushing and flossing. You also come to us for regular check-ups and deep cleans.
Part of our job is to alert you when we spot an issue and to tell you about new treatments or checks. November is Mouth Cancer Action month and we are telling all our patients about mouth cancer screening in Burnham.
This is a check that you need to have once a year if you are over about the age of 35. Mouth cancer is a lifestyle-related disease that is strongly linked to smoking, drinking alcohol, not eating enough fruit and veg and being overweight. In short, if you live in the 21st Century (and we all do) then this is a check you need to be having.
As it is an annual check, we like to add it on to one of your bi-annual check-ups. It doesn’t take long. We take a good look around inside your mouth, checking your lips, gums, tongue (including under it), palate, cheeks, and back of your throat for unusual-looking lumps and bumps. We also feel carefully around your neck looking for more lumps in your neck and throat. You will be asked if you have noticed anything odd too. Anything that has appeared and not healed, any hoarseness, any tingling.
Rates of mouth cancer have risen by 68 percent in the UK over the past 20 years. The numbers are predicted to continue to rise over the next 20 or so years. Mouth cancers are caused by damaged cells that grow out of control to create tumours. They grow fast in the mouth, where the cells are brought into direct contact with the carcinogens that we ingest, and it is thought that alcohol exacerbates the speed at which cancers can develop because it acts as a solvent, making it easier for the carcinogens to enter the cells.
If you detect any lumps or ulcers that have not healed after 3 weeks, come and get them checked out with us at The Dental Surgery Burnham.