Oral cancer is defined as abnormal cell growths affecting the underside of your tongue, the floor of your mouth, the roof of your mouth, your gums and the inside of your cheeks. There are also types of cancer that can affect the salivary glands, the tonsils and the lips.
As health care professionals, dentists have a vital role in looking out for symptoms of oral cancer in addition to looking after your teeth. That is why we recommend coming to the practice for regular check-ups.
Oral cancer can affect the underside of your tongue, the floor of your mouth, the roof of your mouth, your gums and the inside of your cheeks. There are also types of cancer that can affect the salivary glands, the tonsils and the lips.
Some signs of mouth cancer can include:
The presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. If you are worried about symptoms, you should speak to your dentist or GP immediately. Early detection of mouth cancer greatly increases the possibility of successful treatment.
The exact causes of mouth cancer are uncertain but health professionals believe contributory factors include:
A mouth cancer screening is carried out as part of all our dental examinations and hygienist visit. We will examine your mouth for any red or white patches, sores, swellings or any other abnormalities and if we find any to be present you will be referred to a professional. The screening itself is a relatively simple treatment to perform and we will always do our utmost to help our patients feel comfortable and relaxed when receiving a screening.
Successful treatment and oral cancer recovery rates are high with early detection. If the cancer is very small, it may be removed with a very simple surgical procedure, sometimes under local anaesthetic. In more serious cases, treatment options in addition to surgery may include radiotherapy and chemotherapy.Back to General Dentistry
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