Treatments   |   Preventative Dentistry

Mouth Cancer Screening

One important part of a dental check-up that many people don't know about is mouth cancer screening. Mouth cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, throat and lips. Like any form of cancer, early detection is vital to successful treatment.

Mouth cancers have a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma, which are more widely known about. The mortality rate is 50% despite treatment, mainly because of late detection. However, if the condition is spotted early than there is a good chance of making a full recovery. Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential to spotting the early symptoms of mouth cancer.

Hannah carries out mouth cancer screening as part of every standard dental check-up. With the aid of a small mirror, she will thoroughly check your cheeks, lips and mouth for any signs of cancer and will immediately refer you to a hospital consultant for further investigation if anything suspicious is found.

What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?

As well as screening you for mouth cancer at the practice, Hannah can also advise you on how to check for early symptoms at home. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Mouth ulcers (often painless) that don't heal after three weeks
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lumps in the jaw or neck
  • Persistent hoarseness/sore throat

If you notice any of these symptoms, or anything else unusual, you should book an appointment with Hannah or your doctor straight away. Remember, early detection vastly increases your chances of making a full recovery.

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What causes mouth cancer?

Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increase the risk of mouth cancer, but even if you don't smoke or drink you should still have regular mouth cancer checks, as cancer can develop from a variety of causes such as:

  • Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkhaorpaan
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Excess exposure to the sun without protecting the lips
  • A family history of mouth cancer

Queens Park Dental Team

1 Queens Park Gardens, Bournemouth Dorset BH8 9BN
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T: 01202 303322
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Opening Hours

Monday
8.30 - 6.00
Tuesday
8.30 - 6.00
Wednesday
8.30 - 6.00
Thursday
8.30 - 12.00
Friday
8.30 - 2.00