According to the NHS, there are around 6,800 people who are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year with most cases occurring in adults aged 50 to 74 years old. The symptoms aren’t always easy to look for because not many people spend time examining the inside of their mouths each day. However, here at London City Smiles, we make sure to include an Oral Cancer Screening in every check up and consultation. Here is everything you need to know about the symptoms, the types of oral cancers and what the screening process involves:
What Does The Screening Involve?
Here at London City Smiles we will screen your mouth at every appointment in order to check for signs of Oral Cancer. This is just a precaution but will mean that if there are visible signs or symptoms you have not noticed, we can make you aware of them earlier on. This will facilitate treatment in the future should the need arise.
The screening will involve one of our experienced and knowledgeable dentists examining your mouth, neck, gums, tongue and lips to highlight any tell tale signs.
Oral Cancer Symptoms and Causes
There are a range of different symptoms to look out for which the expert team at London City Smiles will do during your check up. If you are at home you can take a minute to shine a light into your mouth and look in the mirror if you feel that there are signs of something not quite right.
Symptoms to look out for include:
● Mouth ulcers that do not appear to be healing (persist longer than 6 weeks)
● Changes in your speech which could sound like a lisp.
● Persistent lumps in the mouth or on the neck.
● Numbness of the tongue or lips that does not appear to stop.
● White, red, patchy or ‘shedding’ areas on the tongue, lips or lining of the mouth.
Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol is linked to an increased chance of developing cancer or pre-cancerous areas although cancers can also arise spontaneously. Smoking and drinking alcohol together increases the risk of developing oral cancers by 10 compared to each habit alone.
Different Types Of Oral Cancers
Surprisingly, there are different types of oral cancer including those that are less commonly known.
The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma which accounts for 9 out of 10 cases. Other types include, adenocarcinomas in the salivary glands, sarcomas in the bone or cartilage, malignant melanomas and lymphomas.
No matter what type of cancer you have or which type of treatment you need, it is important that you look for these symptoms and seek medical attention straight away. Regular dental checkups will allow your dentist to look for these symptoms and alert you straight away.
Contact London City Smiles today to find out more and book your appointment.