November 23, 2023

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, and we’re proud to join the global movement to raise awareness about mouth cancer. 


In this blog, we will navigate through the nuances of mouth cancer, its risk factors, signs, and the pivotal role that early detection and prevention play in saving lives.


Understanding mouth cancer

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, can manifest in various areas of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and the lining of the cheeks. It is a type of head and neck cancer that, if not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, can have severe consequences. The prevalence of mouth cancer is a poignant reminder of the importance of awareness, prevention, and regular oral health check-ups.


Risk factors 

While anyone can develop mouth cancer, certain risk factors may increase susceptibility. Tobacco use in any form, be it cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco, significantly elevates the risk. Likewise, excessive alcohol consumption, especially when combined with smoking, compounds the likelihood of developing mouth cancer.


However, it’s essential to recognize that not all cases of mouth cancer are attributed to these traditional risk factors. In recent years, there has been a rise in cases linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), emphasising the need for a comprehensive understanding of the potential contributors to this disease.


The importance of early detection

Early detection is a game-changer when it comes to mouth cancer. Regular dental check-ups play a pivotal role in identifying suspicious changes in the mouth that may indicate the presence of cancer. At Ten Dental, we emphasise the significance of routine examinations, which enable us to spot abnormalities in their infancy.


Signs to look out for

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer is crucial for both practitioners and patients. Persistent mouth sores, unexplained pain, lumps or thickening of the cheek lining, difficulty swallowing, and changes in voice are all red flags that merit prompt attention. Any unexplained alteration in oral health should be investigated without delay.


The role of HPV

As mentioned earlier, the role of HPV in mouth cancer is gaining prominence. HPV is a common virus that can be transmitted through intimate contact, and certain strains are linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer. Vaccination against HPV is a preventive measure that can significantly reduce the risk of infection, emphasising the importance of public health initiatives.


Prevention strategies

Prevention is undeniably the best approach when it comes to mouth cancer. Lifestyle choices, such as abstaining from tobacco use and moderating alcohol intake, can substantially reduce the risk. Additionally, practising safe sex and getting vaccinated against HPV are crucial steps in protecting against infections that may contribute to mouth cancer.


Our commitment to prevention and awareness-raising 

At Ten Dental, we are committed to not only treating oral health issues but also raising awareness about preventable conditions like mouth cancer. We screen for mouth cancer at every examination, encourage our patients and the community to stay informed, attend regular dental examinations, and be proactive in reporting any changes in oral health.


Book an examination at Ten Dental

This Mouth Cancer Action Month, we stand united in our commitment to raising awareness, promoting prevention, and emphasising the critical role of early detection. 


At Ten Dental, we screen for mouth cancer during every examination, which is why it’s so important to visit us at least every six months for an examination. If it’s been a while since your last visit, get in touch with our friendly team to get a date in the diary. 


Remember, we offer specialist periodontal services for the treatment of gum disease, and hygiene appointments to keep your teeth as clean as possible, removing the plaque and tartar deposits that brushing cannot. Book an appointment here