This November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, a campaign that aims to save lives by promoting the prevention and early detection of oral cancers. The Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends every patient over the age of 16 undergo a mouth cancer screening once a year. Early diagnosis of mouth cancer is so important! A simple check can save your life! Mouth cancer can appear in the mouth, lips, head, and neck. Look for non-healing mouth ulcers, red and white patches, and unusual lumps and swellings. Mouth cancer causes more deaths than breast cancer, cervical cancer, testicular cancer, and melanomas.
Dentists are best placed to pick up signs of this deadly disease and that’s why it is vitally important that you see us for your regular checkups. A mouth cancer screen forms part of your dental examination. As this is something that can often go unnoticed or undetected, your dentist will carry out a full soft tissue examination as part of your checkup. If mouth cancer is diagnosed early, a complete cure is often possible using a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. The outlook for mouth cancer can vary depending on which part of the mouth is affected and whether it has spread from the mouth into the surrounding tissue. The outlook is much better if the cancer is diagnosed early. We always check for mouth cancer at our appointments at Advanced Dental Center in Norwalk, CT.
Did you know that around half of all mouth cancer cases are linked to lifestyle factors that might be seen as “preventable”? You can make positive changes to reduce your chance of developing mouth cancer.
Mouth Cancer Risk Factors
Smoking tobacco increases your risk by up to ten times
Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to a third of all mouth cancers.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the main causes
An unhealthy diet low in fruits and vegetables
The signs and symptoms of mouth cancer include: ⠀
Persistent pain in the mouth
White or red patches in the mouth⠀
A sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal within three weeks⠀
Lumps and swellings in the mouth, head, or neck⠀
Difficulty in chewing or moving the tongue or jaw⠀
Chronic hoarseness or sore throat that persists more than six weeks
Unexplained tooth mobility.
We check for oral cancer at every dental checkup at our Advanced Dental Center, but we want to encourage as many of you as possible to check your mouth for the early warning signs of cancer because early diagnosis is vital for beating the disease. A self-check for mouth cancer can take less than one minute and can save a life! Most importantly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, you must tell your dentist or doctor immediately.