It is important to attend for regular dental health assessments as recommended by your dentist. It is also a time when you can take the opportunity to voice your own concerns about your teeth and mouth. Only following a dental health assessment can your needs be properly assessed.
At this appointment an examination of the soft tissues of the mouth, lips, cheek and tongue will also be done. Dentists have special training to help with the detection of abnormalities.
Your dentist will also check for:
- The health of your teeth
- The health of existing fillings and crowns
- Decay risk assessment
- Lifestyle and gum risk assessment
- Gum health
- Plaque control
- Bone support levels checked
It is now common knowledge that your dentist is best equipt to detect signs of oral abnormality but you should be aware of the early signs of Mouth Cancer – if you display any of the following symptoms it would be wise to consult your dentist or doctor:
- Swelling, lump or growth, or an unusual hardness in the mouth or neck. These lumps are usually painless
- Red or white patches in the mouth which persist for more than 3 weeks
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- Numbness, loss of feeling or pain in any area of the face, mouth or neck
Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, but it is more common in those over 40, and particularly men. These are some of the facts:
- There is an increased risk for those who smoke; heavy smoking and consumption of alcohol increases your risk further
- Smoking is the number one cause of mouth cancer
- Mouth cancer kills approximately 1,700 people per year in the UK
If mouth cancer is detected early, the chances of a complete cure are considerably increased.