What is a mouth cancer screening?
During your screening, your dentist will visually check your soft tissues for signs of mouth cancer and anything that looks out of the ordinary. These might include recurring ulcers, white or red patches, lumps and bumps or unusual tongue patterns. They may also feel your neck and under the chin to check for any swelling.
Why do I need an oral cancer screening?
Oral Cancer is the 6th most common cancer worldwide. Around 8300 people per year are diagnosed with Oral Cancer in the UK. Screening is a straightforward and effective way of regularly checking the mouth and ruling out anything sinister during your routine check-up.
What preventative measures can I take?
Mouth cancers are caused by abnormal cell division in the oral cavity. The two most common risk factors for mouth cancer are alcohol and smoking. Increasing the intake of alcohol, smoking, or a combination of the two increases the likelihood of mouth cancer. Other factors include age, HPV (human papillomavirus), diet, and more.
What happens if the dentist observes something abnormal?
Your dentist will, if possible, show you any visible areas of abnormality to either review or be checked by someone else for a second opinion. In most cases, this is simply to rule out anything major, but as always, it is always better to check. Early intervention has a considerable impact on the effectiveness of treatment.