One important reason to visit your dentist in NW3 for regular check-ups is so that we can check your mouth for cancer.
Mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. The good news is that it is much less common in the UK. The bad news is that according to Cancer Research UK, over the last decade, the number of people in the UK dying from it went up by 21%. The increase is similar for both men and women. The other bad news is that UK death rates are set to rise by 38% by 2035.
Back to the good news. Mouth cancer is one thing we always check for when you come to RP Advanced Dental and Implant Centre, your dentist in NW3, for your six-monthly check-up. After the dentist has checked your teeth for decay, and your gums for signs of disease, they also check you for mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is a usually disease of linings, so we will be looking at linings of the mouth, such as the insides of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth (palate), the lips, and gums. Less commonly, tumours can also develop in the salivary glands, the tonsils at the back of the mouth, and the part of the throat that connects your mouth to your windpipe.
Signs to watch out for
Mouth cancer manifests as:
- painful mouth ulcers that will not go away;
- mysterious, persistent lumps;
- loose teeth, or sockets that refuse to heal after extractions;
- numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue;
- red or white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue;
- changes in speech, such as a lisp.
Your chances of mouth cancer are higher if you a man over 50 who drinks and smokes.
It all sounds grim, but on a more positive note, mouth cancer can often be cured with relatively minor surgery, which is why your NW3 dentist looks for it during dental check-ups.
You will notice us checking all over your tongue and your hard and soft palate for strange lesions. We will feel your saliva glands for lumps, as well as the lymph nodes in your neck and down the sides of your neck.