Mouth cancer cases rise by 135% but an alarming number of us are unable to spot the early warning signs

The number of British Adults diagnosed with mouth cancer has risen by 135% in the past 20 years according to the Oral Health Foundation.

Why?

Well, let’s look at the main risk factors:

  • Regularly drinking more than four alcoholic drinks a day
  • Smoking, Shisha pipe smoking and chewing Betel Nut products
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – this can be transmitted via oral sex
  • Diet poor in vitamins and minerals
  • Sunlight and sunbeds – can increase the risk of lip cancers

As well as factors associated with cancers in general ie lack of exercise and being overweight.

So to reduce risks, avoid the above.

Dentists are highly trained and are perfectly positioned to detect mouth cancer. I perform a simple examination of the dental tissues, pharynx and lymph glands of the neck to check for mouth cancer at every dental health check and offer advice to reduce a person’s risk to this potentially fatal disease.

If you notice a lesion or ulcer in the mouth and it lasts longer than 2-3 weeks I urge you to see your dentist. Early detection of mouth cancer leads to better treatment outcomes and can save lives.

If in doubt, check it out.

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