One important reason to visit your dentist in Soho for regular check-ups is that we will check your mouth for signs of cancer.
Mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, but it is much less common in the UK. That’s the good news. The bad news is that according to Cancer Research UK, over the last decade, death rates from oral cancer have increased by 21% in the UK. The increase is similar for both men and women.
At PS Dental Care, your dentist in Soho, we are trained to look for early signs of mouth cancer during your six-monthly check-ups. After we have checked your teeth for decay and your gums for signs of disease, we also check you for cancer, which occurs in the linings of the mouth, such as the insides of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth (palate), or the lips or gums. Less commonly, tumours can also develop in the saliva glands, the tonsils at the back of the mouth, and the part of the throat that connects your mouth to your windpipe.
Signs of mouth cancer
Signs of cancerous tumours in your mouth include:
- painful mouth ulcers that won’t heal
- unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth
- unexplained, persistent lumps in the neck
- 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.
You are more likely to get mouth cancer if you are male, aged over 50 and drink alcohol or smoke tobacco. If it is caught early, there is a good chance that the cancer can be cured with relatively minor surgery, which is why your Soho dentist looks for it during dental check-ups. We will check all over your tongue and your hard and soft palate for unusual 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. We will also check your gums and inside your cheeks.