Mouth Cancer Awareness

Mouth Cancer Awareness
Advanced Dental Aesthetics
03, Dec 2020

There’s one area of dental health often overlooked by patients but at Advanced Dental Aesthetics in Southend, awareness of oral or mouth cancer is always prioritised. As with nearly all types of cancer, early detection and treatment has a big part to play in success rates of curing oral and mouth cancer. Because of this, oral cancer screening should be a part of your  regular dental visits.

At Advanced Dental Aesthetics, our dentists and hygienists are always looking for abnormalities when they perform examinations, cleaning, and other dental treatments. While there are certain steps that can be taken to more thoroughly check for early signs of oral and mouth cancer, it’s not currently a standard check-up in all dental practices.

Types of Mouth Cancer

There’s a mucous membrane lining of special cells called squamous cells that line the mouth and throat. Cancer in these cells, known as squamous cell carcinoma, makes up about 90% of all mouth cancer diagnoses.

Another type of mouth cancer, much less common, is known as verrucous carcinoma and is a variation of squamous cell carcinoma. It tends to be much slower to grow than squamous cell carcinoma.

Mouth and oral cancer can also form within the salivary glands in the mouth, within the bone and soft tissue, and in the lymph nodes that are part of our immune system. These types of cancer are, thankfully, rare.

Early Warning Signs of Mouth Cancer

Here are some of the most common symptoms and early warning signs of mouth cancer but please note these symptoms can also be signs of other health issues so it’s always best to consult your Doctor or Advanced Dental Aesthetics team if you present with any of the following.

  • Constant soreness or pain in the mouth
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth that won’t heal
  • Lumps or growths on the tongue, cheeks, or elsewhere in the mouth
  • Frequent bleeding from the gums or soft tissue
  • Swollen glands or lymph nodes
  • Swelling or puffiness in the jaw
  • Loose teeth or dentures that don’t fit correctly anymore
  • White or red patchiness on the lips or in the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain in chewing, swallowing, talking, or moving the jaw or tongue

At Advanced Dental Aesthetics in Southend we always encourage dental patients to address any health issue or concern without delay to ensure you rule out any uncertainty and identify minor issues early and prevent them from becoming more serious over time.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for oral and mouth cancer. The effects of smoking on the human body are severe and well known but that doesn’t stop us seeing dental patients who are regular smokers, every day. Put simply, avoiding smoking entirely is the best way to avoid preventable instances of oral and mouth cancer from developing.

Screening for Mouth Cancer

If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed above, or have noticed any other abnormalities in your mouth, jaw, tongue, teeth, or throat, we recommend you arrange for a complete oral cancer screening with your Advanced Dental Aesthetics dentist. The process is simple and painless, and many of the steps in the screening can easily be done as part of your regular dental hygiene appointments. Screening for oral cancer generally involves an in-depth visual and physical examination, as well as a few additional steps to help spot potential problems not visually apparent.

Your Advanced Dental Aesthetics dentist will closely examine your mouth for sores, discoloration, lumps, and any other visual and physical signs such as soreness or tenderness. These signs will be assessed and if further testing is required, your dentist will discuss the specifics with you in more detail.

Your oral cancer screening will also likely involve a set of x-rays or an ultrasound to help spot any issues that are not identified during the visual and physical examination. Sometimes a CT scan or MRI may be used to obtain additional detailed images and information.

There are several other processes that your Advanced Dental Aesthetics dentist may recommend as part of your oral cancer screening. An endoscopy may be requested to obtain a more complete view of your nasal passages and throat.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular check-ups and examinations to help spot the warning signs for oral and mouth cancer as early as possible are encouraged and should be something to include in your regular dental care.

In your discussions with your dentist and hygienist at Advanced Dental Aesthetics in Southend be sure to mention any and all concerns or irregularities you’ve noticed in between check-ups. Your Advanced dental Aesthetics team is dedicated to your health and will work with you to correctly diagnose and treat any symptoms in the most effective way.

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Click here for more information on Mouth Cancer Action Month

Contact us today to arrange your appointment for an oral and mouth cancer screening

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