Why Mouth Cancer Screenings Are Important
You might hear mouth cancer as being referred to as oral cancer. This is exactly the same thing and simply means a cancer that can occur in any part of the mouth which includes on your lips, inside your cheeks, on your gums, on the roof or floor of your mouth, on your tongue, in your salivary glands or on your tonsils. Around 2,700 people are diagnosed annually with some form of mouth cancer in this country.
Who Is More at Risk of Developing Mouth Cancer?
It tends to affect people who are over 40 and men are more at risk. Smokers and heavy drinkers are also more likely to develop mouth cancer but around a quarter of all cases will have no known risk factors, which is why your regular screenings with your Clacton dentist are so important. One of the real problems with mouth cancer is that many patients have no real symptoms during the early stages, meaning it is often detected when treatment is trickier and likely to be less successful and far more invasive.
What Happens during a Mouth Cancer Screening?
Your screening for mouth cancer can be carried out at the same time as your check-up. It is very quick and non-invasive as your dentist in Clacton will simply closely examine all the tissues inside your mouth and they will gently feel your neck to check for any lumps. They are looking for any small changes that might indicate something is wrong and requires further investigation. Symptoms of mouth cancer can include changes to the texture or colour of the inside of your mouth as it can lead to white or red patches forming. Other indications are swellings or lumps or areas where the skin has become thicker. If our dentist in Clacton does find anything wrong, we can soon take a small sample of cells that will be sent off for a more detailed analysis, or we might refer you to a specialist for another examination.
Keeping an Eye Out for Any Changes In Between Appointments
As well as your annual mouth cancer screening, it is worth keeping an eye out for any changes to the colour of your oral tissues. Other possible signs include increased difficulty when swallowing or mouth ulcers that simply don’t heal properly. As the cancer develops, it can cause changes to the way your teeth fit together; they may become loose and any dental appliances such as dentures might begin to fit slightly differently.
If you have any doubts about your oral health then we will always suggest you come and see our Clacton dentist. We would far rather check the inside of your mouth than have you ignore possible symptoms. In most cases these symptoms will be caused by something else, but it is always better to be safe than sorry so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are due for your check-up or think you have a dental problem that needs some attention, then please give Clacton Dental Carea call on 01255 221001 to book an appointment. If you prefer, you can contact us through our website at www.Clactondentalcare.co.uk.