Oral Cancer ,
Most patients do not realise that the dentist carries out regular checks for oral cancer.
So when we often hear ” I don’t need to see the dentist I am not having any problems ” this is why we always reply with ” it is not about attending with pain”
When your dentist mentions this, it can be a shock. You might think, “But I don’t smoke,” or “No one in my family has ever had oral cancer. I don’t need that.”
Oral cancer is real It’s no longer just about smokers.
It is also very relevant sexually-active people between the ages of 25 and 50.
The percentage of head and neck cancers linked to the sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) disease has a big impact as well.
In the UK more than 8000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each.
Oral cancer is normally painless resulting in it being caught late, half of those diagnosed will survive more than five years. But if it’s detected early, patients have a nearly 90% survival rate.
Early Detection Is Key
This is why we say it is vital to see your dentist every 6 months for a regular check-up.
What are the signs to look out for?
Oral cancer signs and symptoms can include:
- A sore in the mouth that bleeds easily or doesn’t heal
- A color change of the oral tissues
- A change in the way the teeth fit together
- A lump, thickening, crusty spot, or a small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the mouth or lips
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving the jaw or tongue
If you have any of these symptoms, make sure you call your dentist.
“Oral cancer is so disfiguring if it gets to a certain stage “You may lose part of your tongue or have to have part of your jaw removed.”
Prevention really is the key here, if you are too scared to see a dentist, talk to the reception team, explain your fears and worries.
We always like to work through a patient’s fear and help them overcome it. This way they then build up the trust to come back. Allowing us to be able to monitor and review twice a year.
If you should ever notice any signs or symptoms in-between time pick up the phone and book an appointment.
It is much better to be safe than sorry.