Mouth Cancer and the Symptoms You Should Be Aware of
Mouth cancer or oral cancer can appear in the soft tissues in your mouth, including your lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of your mouth and the hard and soft palate. It is a condition that can become life threating without any early diagnosis. Unfortunately many cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed late in the day and this is why regular check-ups with your dentist in Downham Market are so important. When you think about it, your dentist is likely to be the only medical professional who regularly examines the inside of your mouth and this is why dentists are specially trained to detect the early symptoms of mouth cancer.
What to Expect During a Mouth Cancer Screening
Your screening with your dentist in Downham Market will be quick and non-invasive. They will simply examine all the oral tissues in your mouth and will gently examine underneath your tongue. They might also feel the lymph nodes in your neck. So what type of symptoms are they looking out for?
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
There are lots of different symptoms but the most common include noticing that some areas inside of your mouth have become thickened or rough or feel swollen. Sometimes white or red spots or patches may develop which feel almost velvety to the touch. You may have sore areas or ulcers that fail to heal after two weeks and these may bleed easily. Another symptom is having unexplained numbness or tenderness in any area in your face or in the neck area. It could become more difficult to chew or swallow or to move your tongue properly. Your teeth might begin to fit together slightly differently or you may find that dentures or other dental appliances don’t fit correctly.
As you can see, the symptoms of mouth cancer can be very varied which is why regular screenings are so important. If you do think you have any symptoms of mouth cancer or are at all concerned then it’s best to contact your dentist in Downham Market for more advice and an examination as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Who Is More at Risk of Developing Mouth Cancer?
Men tend to be more at risk, as do both men and women over the age of 50. Other risk factors are using tobacco, including smokeless products, or smoking. In fact it is estimated that cigarette smokers or pipe smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. If you drink excessively then your risk is increased and other risk factors include excessive exposure to sun and being exposed to the human papilloma virus. In spite of all these risk factors around 25% of mouth cancers will occur in people who do not have any known risks.
When diagnosed early on, the survival rates for mouth cancer can be extremely good so it’s well worth having regular screenings with your dentist in Downham Market. If you are due for a check-up, why not contact Downham Market Dental Care to book an appointment today. Call us on 01366 382265.