Mouth cancer screening
Our dentists are trained to look for early signs of mouth cancer during routine dental appointments. Mouth cancer screening is a short procedure that involves a thorough examination of your whole mouth. Our dentists are looking for subtle changes in your mouth lining, so it is important that you have regular check-ups so that changes can be noticed, as well as for your overall dental and general health.
Common symptoms of mouth cancer include red, or red-and-white patches on the lining of your mouth or tongue, one or more mouth ulcers that do not heal after three weeks, a swelling in your mouth that lasts for more than three weeks, pain when swallowing, loose teeth for no obvious reason, a persistent pain in the neck, a hoarse voice, unusual changes in your sense of taste, swollen lymph nodes (glands) in your neck, earache and unexplained weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms lasting for more than three weeks, visit your GP or your dentist.
Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption are strongly related to mouth and throat cancers, as well as poor oral health and failure to have regular dental check-ups. A good dental routine of regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, combined with regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments, will minimise this risk.