A Mouth Cancer Screening Could Save Your Life
Did you know that when you visit your dentist in Watton for a check-up you’ll be provided with regular screenings for oral cancer? In fact this is a very important part of your regular preventative dental care as unfortunately rates for mouth cancer are on the increase and one of the real problems with this disease is its frequently diagnosed extremely late when treatment is much more difficult and much more invasive. Your dentist has been specially trained to spot the early signs of mouth cancer and this simple screening has the ability to save lives.
Oral cancer can manifest in a number of different ways, as it can develop on the inside of your cheeks, on your lips or tongue, on the roof of your mouth or in your sinuses and on the floor of your mouth. There are a number of common symptoms that could indicate something is wrong and which include:
- Unexplained rough patches or areas of skin that have become swollen or thicker.
- The development of white or red areas that have an almost velvety feel.
- Having unexplained numbness in any area of your face or neck, or experiencing pain or tenderness.
- Mouth ulcers or sore spots on the face or neck which don’t heal within two weeks and these may bleed easily.
- Experiencing difficulty in chewing or swallowing or having a sensation that something is caught in your throat.
- Noticing your teeth or any dental appliances such as dentures, don’t quite seem to bite together correctly any more.
If you do notice any of these symptoms then it’s worth contacting Clarence House Dental Care to talk to our friendly dental team. We may suggest you book a check-up with our dentist in Watton as even though the symptoms are likely to be due to something else it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We’d far rather you get something checked out than keep quiet.
Who Is More Risk of Mouth Cancer?
Men are more at risk of developing mouth cancer than women, with men over the age of 50 being more vulnerable. Other risk factors involve using alcohol to excess, smoking or using tobacco products or having been exposed to the human papilloma virus. You may be at increased risk if you have a family history of cancer but it’s important to note that one quarter of all cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed in people with no known risk factors.
What Happens If My Dentist Spots Something Wrong?
In the unlikely event that we see something amiss, our dentist in Watton can remove a few skin cells using a small brush which can be sent away for testing. Alternatively you may need to have a very small biopsy carried out. If necessary we can refer you to a specialist.
If it’s been a while since you had a check-up, then why not contact our dental practice and book an appointment with our dentist in Watton? Regular preventative dental care is the best way to keep your teeth and gums in great shape and of course we will screen you for oral cancer. Call us on 01953 882777 today.