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November is Mouth Cancer Action Month

November 04, 2021

Mouth Cancer Action Month is a charity campaign organised by the Oral Health Foundation. Taking place throughout November, the aim is to raise awareness of mouth cancer and share these important messages of being ‘mouth aware’:

  • Know how to spot mouth cancer early, and regularly check for unusual changes in your mouth, such as:
    • Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks
    • Red-and-white patches in your mouth
    • Unusual lumps or swellings in your mouth, head and neck
  • Understand what is likely to cause mouth cancer and reduce your risk.
  • Act quickly when you see something out of the ordinary by visiting your dentist.

Over the past year, 8772 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer. Knowing how to spot mouth cancer early will enable prompt treatment.


Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, such as smoking and drinking, mouth cancer can affect anyone and can affect the lips, tongue, gums and cheek. So it is important to adopt a healthier lifestyle, be aware of the signs above, and maintain regular check-ups with your dentist and see your hygienist regularly.

If in doubt, get checked out!

Early detection is crucial, so if you have noticed any of these signs or anything unusual in your mouth, please tell your dentist or doctor immediately.


Your dentist will check the inside of your mouth and your tongue, and will also look at your neck and underneath your jaw. Dentists will carry out this examination as part of a routine dental check up. Remember, your dental team can see parts of your mouth you cannot see easily yourself. 


If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure. However, too many people come forward too late because they do not have regular mouth examinations, so it is vital these are maintained.

How can I make sure that my mouth stays healthy?

  • Stop smoking, as this is the leading cause of mouth cancer.
  • Cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink; heavy drinkers and smokers are up to 35 times more at risk.
  • HPV, the human papillomavirus, is being linked to the growth of mouth cancer cases; ensuring boys and girls aged 12-13 are vaccinated will reduce the prevalence of HPV.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, which can also help protect against many other cancers.
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

At Elmsleigh House our dental team check for signs of mouth cancer at your routine check-ups, so it is important to see your dentist and hygienist regularly for your general health as well as your dental health!


Mouth Cancer Action Poster


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