What is mouth cancer and why is it important to have a mouth cancer screening?

Mouth cancer (also commonly known and referred to as oral cancer) is easy to spot, so it is vital to have regular dental check ups and appointments (typically every six months) to ensure the signs are spotted early, and so mouth cancer can be prevented. Mouth cancer causes ulcers and lumps, as well as other more severe symptoms within the mouth. Although it is not commonly known, mouth cancer (or ‘oral cancer’) can affect a large number of individuals’ lives, although it is not commonly heard of in comparison to other forms of cancers, such as lung cancer.

Mouth Cancer Screening in BerkshireWhat are some of the symptoms of mouth or ‘oral’ cancer?

Some of the few physical symptoms within the body can consist of ulcers and lumps (within the mouth and the neck), as well as a strange feeling of the lips. These lumps and bumps within the mouth will not fade or leave the body in the way that normal abnormalities would; ulcers will not disappear after several weeks for example. One common symptom may be the loss of one or several teeth within the mouth, as well as a red or yellow patch on the inside of the mouth. One other example, which may not be commonly associated with oral cancer, is essentially pain (this may be within the mouth itself, or even within the ear, or surrounding areas of the ear).

What can I expect from a mouth cancer screening in Old windsor Berkshire?

During a mouth cancer screening (commonly referred to as an oral screening) patients can expect a quicker consultation time than they would probably expect. A handheld device is used by us to check and assess the mouth area for ulcers, lumps, and any other signs of oral cancer within the mouth. We will then quickly analyse the abnormalities within the mouth and determine a diagnosis. Catching these symptoms early on can help prevent the development of oral cancer (hence the name of preventative dentistry).

We will assess and analyse your medical history, in order to help make your diagnosis. An assessment of your external mouth and inner mouth is also analysed, as well as the neck, and we will also carry out a physical investigation.

Why is it important to have regular check ups, and why do some individuals refrain from regular dental appointments?

Some patients may refrain from having regular dental check ups for a variety of reasons, one of which may be financial. Patients who don’t receive dental or orthodontic care under the national health service may avoid frequent trips to their local dental clinic. However, having a frequent dental check up and assessment is extremely important for maintaining dental hygiene, and preventing oral issues, such as mouth cancer. Early detection of mouth cancer, and other dental issues, can maintain a healthy mind and body.

One other reason for lack of visits may be due to nerves, a negative childhood experience for example can create a negative stigma of a dental environment. However, we are used to patients feeling nervous and we are able to accomodate for them by providing gentle and caring dental treatments.