Thousands of people every year are diagnosed with oral cancer in the UK. It is much more common in men than in women and is strongly associated with smoking and alcohol consumption. At this time of each year the Oral Health Foundation aims to raise awareness of the condition in order to improve early diagnosis rates and treatment outcomes for patients.
As dentists we are only too aware of the risks of oral cancers. All dentists will come across lumps and bumps in their patients’ mouths every day of their working lives, nearly all of which are harmless and present no risks to our patients’ health. However, we are also uniquely placed to notice any changes and to recognise the early signs of cancer for which an early referral and treatment can be a lifesaving intervention.
At The Bay Dental an oral cancer screen is an integral part of the Dental Health Examination where we look at the appearance of lips, cheeks and tongue to ensure that these areas look healthy. We know it does feel a bit strange poking your tongue out at the dentist but there is some method in our madness! Many patients also ask us about areas on their face or in their mouth which they have noticed – so if you notice anything unusual;- white patches, red patches, ulcers, swellings etc which are present for more than a week or two then don’t forget to mention it when you come in to see us.