Mouth Cancer – Prevention And Action
This disease, which kills over two thousand people a year in the UK, should be taken very seriously.
As we are just over halfway through November, which is Mouth Cancer Action Month, we felt it was a good time to look at this issue.
In particular how it can be prevented through lifestyle changes and regular monitoring by your convenient Greenwich dentist.
Whilst, like most cancers, there can be a number of contributory causes, there are things that many of us do on a day-to-day basis which are almost certain to increase the risk.
By far the biggest threat to your oral health, in terms of cancers, is smoking. Thankfully, many people have now managed to stop, often through the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping. Whilst the long term effects of this smoking substitute are not yet fully known, there is largely consensus that they are still preferable to cigarettes, from a health perspective. For those that do still smoke though, the smoke that enters the mouth not only has the cosmetic effect of staining your teeth, but may also irritate any existing problems such as ulcers etc and slow down the healing process. Increased risk of gum disease is also likely. Most importantly though, oral cancer risks are greatly increased.
During your regular check ups at the Confidental Clinic, we not only examine your teeth and gums, but also your tongue, cheeks and other soft tissue too, for any possible signs that may be cancerous. If we notice anything of any concern, we will ask you to have this checked by your doctor. It does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, but it is important that you get it checked just to be sure.
Alcohol also increases the risk of oral cancers. Whilst the occasional beer or glass of wine is unlikely to do much harm, people who drink on a regular basis should probably think again. Whether you drink or not though, do make sure to have your mouth checked by our dentists at regular intervals so that any intervention that is needed can happen as soon as possible, for the best outcome.
It is thought that HPV, or the human papillomavirus, may soon catch up on smoking and alcohol consumption as one of the leading causes of mouth cancer. This virus is a major cause of cervical cancer and generally occurs in moister areas of the body. Because of this, it is commonly passed through oral sex, and ensuring that you have safe sex and limit your number of partners may help to reduce the risk of contracting HPV.
We hope that this guide will provide some useful advice to keep your mouth healthy and free from oral cancer. It is also important that you receive ongoing oral health care at the Confidental Clinic in Greenwich so that any problems can be addressed in the early stages.
If you live in the Greenwich area and are not registered with a dentist, or perhaps wish to change your dentist, please contact the Confidental Clinic on 020 8858 1422. NHS dental care is also available depending on availability.