What is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer can affect anyone, but there is a higher incidence of this deadly disease in people over 40, particularly men. That said, it is becoming increasingly common in younger people and women too. Diagnosed cases have increased by over a third in the past decade.

It can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer, as can any unusual lumps or swellings. If these ulcers, bumps or swellings do not heal within three weeks, it is important to visit your dentist.

Most cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol consumption. Furthermore when alcohol and tobacco are consumed together the risk is even greater. Over exposure to sunlight can cause cancer of the lips. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is increasingly being linked to cases of oral cancer. This virus is the main cause of cervical cancer and is spread to the mouth through oral sex.

Consequently it is important to be aware of any unusual changes to the tissues in your mouth.


Free Mouth Cancer Check in November.

Shelley Manor Dental, Bournemouth is supporting Mouth Cancer Action Month this November. We are delighted to be getting behind this national campaign. This health campaign is to help check for symptoms of a disease that, without early detection, could claim 30,000 lives over the next decade.

Organised by the British Dental Health Foundation  Mouth Cancer Action Month is sponsored by Denplan. It promotes the message ‘if in doubt, get checked out’ in a bid to save thousands of lives through early detection.

Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can often be spotted in its early stages by a dentist during a routine examination. Encouragingly, if caught early, there is a 90 percent chance of survival. Therefore dentists are in an ideal position to share information about the risks and symptoms of oral cancer with their patients.

Free Oral Cancer Screening

With this in mind we are welcoming new patients for a free oral cancer check throughout November. Existing patients already get an oral cancer examination as part of every routine check up. We recommend dental check-ups every six months.

At your oral cancer check your dentist will check your soft tissues and discuss any concerns you may have. Symptoms might include mouth ulcers that haven’t healed within three weeks, red or white patches or other unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth.

“It is well documented that early detection saves lives,” said Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation. The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has significant increased over the last decade. Latest figures show 6,767 new cases a year (Cancer Research UK 2014).

This means it’s never been more important to follow the campaign message, ‘if in doubt, get checked out’. Take advantage of the free mouth cancer checks taking place at the practice.” For more information about the campaign, please visit www.mouthcancer.org.

In summery call us on 01202 443882 to book your FREE mouth cancer screening this November at Shelley Manor Dental.

Note: An oral cancer check is to look for mouth cancer only. It does not replace a normal dental check-up. Oral cancer checks may vary but typically consists of an examination of the face, neck, tongue, gums, lips, inside cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth.


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