Mouth Cancer Detection And Prevention
Keep your mouth healthy with regular visits to our Ipswich dental practice.
Taking good care of our teeth and gums is important, but so is taking care of the rest of our mouth. Patients who attend the Foxhall Dental Practice regularly for check ups, may notice that, during the appointment, we also examine your cheeks and tongue, as well as your teeth and gums.
The reason for this is that we are in an ideal position to notice any changes to the health of your mouth since your last visit. Unusual signs such as lumps or sore or red patches may indicate potentially serious problems which need further investigation.
Although not one of the most well known cancers, oral, or mouth cancers are responsible for over two thousand deaths in the UK each year. Many more sufferers may be faced with long term health challenges and facial changes. For this reason, it is obviously much better to avoid the problem in the first place. By and large, it is relatively easy to minimise the risk.
Smoking and drinking
Two of the main causes of oral cancers are smoking and drinking (in excess). Both of these factors have been shown to damage DNA, potentially causing cancer symptoms to appear. Stopping smoking and cutting down on alcohol consumption are two of the best things that you can do to prevent oral cancer from becoming a problem that affects you. A poor diet and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) may also be factors that contribute to this form of cancer and you may wish to discuss this with your GP if you are concerned.
Our professional role
It should be stated that dentists are not trained to detect cancer, nor can we recommend treatment. Our role though is very important due to the regularity with which we inspect our patient’s mouths. This enables us to check our previous records and note any changes that we see. Where we notice signs that give rise to any concern, we may advise you to have this checked by your GP, who may, in turn, refer you to a specialist if they feel that this is necessary.
Although patients obviously hope that we don’t need to refer them to their GP, please do not panic if we do. This simply means that we have noticed something which we think needs checking professionally. There may be any number of causes of sore patches in your mouth for instance, and it may well prove to be something totally innocent.
We do recommend that our advice is not ignored though. As with all medical conditions, the sooner problems are detected and treatment starts, the more likely a positive outcome is. The treatment provided in the early stages may also be less intensive than that if the illness is not diagnosed until an advanced stage.
If you have not had an oral health check for some time, why not call the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich today on 01473 258396 to arrange yours.