November marks Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, to try and raise awareness and to encourage people that if they notice any possible symptoms that they get them checked out urgently. Mouth cancer is the eleventh most common cancer, it can affect most parts of the mouth including the lips and tongue and can also be found in the cheeks and the throat.
According to the oral health foundation there are 7,800 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year. It is more prevalent in men and usually in people over 40. Smoking and drinking excessively can potentially increase the risk of developing mouth cancer.
Some of the symptoms that you need to look out for are:
- Mouth ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks
- Red or white patches in your mouth
- Unusual lumps or swellings in your mouth, lips, neck or throat
If you notice any of these symptoms and they haven’t cleared after 3 weeks then you should book to see your GP. Understandably it is difficult to notice some of these symptoms by yourself which is why your dentist can help spot any obscurities with your oral health in the early stages.
Regular dental check-ups are also important and can help towards an early diagnosis if you have mouth cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected the lesser the risk. Dentists are able to spot signs of mouth cancer during a routine check-up and they’ll examination the inside of your mouth to make sure everything looks okay. They’ll also be able to check your neck and underneath your jaw. If your dentist spots anything then they can refer you to a specialist right away.
It is vital that you attend regular dental check-ups if you notice any of these symptoms, and it is important to make sure that your dentist is carrying out the checks to detect mouth cancer.
While most dentists will provide you with a thorough check up to help the prevention of mouth cancer some dentists may not. If you’ve had a misdiagnosis from your dentist in regards to mouth cancer then you can contact us 0808 231 3781, or complete our online claim form.