September 21st Is National Mouth Cancer Awareness Day.
Over 300 cases of cancer of the mouth (oral cavity and pharynx) are detected in Ireland every year. If caught early, oral cancers can be treated.
Your Dental Check-Up Could Save Your Life
Ideally you’ll walk out the door with absolutely nothing exciting to report; no major issues and a vague sense of wonder about where your money just went… but that regular check-up could potentially save your life by identifying oral cancer early.
A Quick Exam Will Find Things You’d Miss
Your dentist, or your oral hygienist if you’re coming for a cleaning, will examine your tongue and all the surrounding tissue in your mouth. They are often the first people to find any red flags that might signal a pre-cancerous, or cancerous lesion.
They pay much more attention than you would, and pick up any changes that were too subtle or too gradual for you to notice. A thorough oral screening exam means your dentist will examine your neck, glands, and mouth for any abnormalities.
Risk Factors For Oral Cancer
- Gender and Age: Oral cancer is more common in men, and 66% of people with oral cancers are over age 55.
- Smoking: 80% of people with oral cavity cancers are smokers.
- Alcohol: About 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers. This risk is higher for people who both drink and smoke.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: Human papilloma viruses, or HPV, include about 100 similar viruses and is a risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
People who don’t have any of the above risk factors can still develop oral cancers, so it’s very important to attend your regular check-up.
Things To Watch Out For
- Any lumps, bumps of thickening in the mouth, jaw or neck.
- Changes in colour to the tissue of the mouth or throat.
- Any pain or tenderness (oral cancer, though, is often painless).
- Sores or lesions.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Sore throat or hoarseness.
To book a dental check-up or cleaning and oral screening, give us a call on 021-432-0004 or visit us online today.
For more information on Oral Cancers, see www.mouthcancerawareness.ie