With November being Mouth Cancer Awareness month, it is important to highlight the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.
During a dental appointment, your dentist will naturally look for abnormalities within the mouth and these include signs of oral cancer. It is important that in between dental appointments you also take notice of what is going on inside your mouth. If you notice any changes is it essential you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.
Mouth cancer can develop in most parts of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, cheek and the throat. If it is caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why early detection is so important.
– If in doubt, get checked out.
It can be hard to spot symptoms of mouth cancer, which is why it is important to regularly attend your dental appointments. Your dentist can perform a check-up and look for slight abnormalities that you might otherwise miss. If anything is found, your dentist will provide onward referral to a specialist for further investigation.
Given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for. In between dental appointments you should look out for changes in your mouth health that could indicate mouth cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Mouth Cancer:
Three signs and symptoms not to ignore are:
- Ulcers which do not heal within three weeks.
- Red and white patches in the mouth; or
- Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.
If you notice anything unusual in your mouth, it’s advisable to make an appointment with your dentist.
Checking for Mouth Cancer:
When checking for signs of mouth cancer you should follow the following routine:
Head and neck
Check if both sides look the same and search for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face. Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck being alert to any tenderness or lumps to the touch.
Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or changes in colour. Use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for any unusual lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.
Use your finger to pull out your cheek so that they can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches.
Then place your index finger inside your cheek, with your opposing thumb on the outside gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers, repeat this action on the other cheek.
The roof of the mouth
With your head tilted back and mouth open wide, your dentist will look to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour. They will run their ﬁnger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps.
Examine your tongue, looking at the surface for any changes in colour or texture.
Stick out your tongue or move it from one side to another, again looking for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers. Finally, take a look at the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
The floor of the mouth
Look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal. Press your finger along the floor of your mouth and underside of your tongue to feel for any unusual lumps, swellings or ulcers.
If you find anything unusual in any of these areas, or are unsure of anything, visit your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
The best ways to prevent mouth cancer:
- Cut down on alcohol consumption;
- Cut down or stop smoking;
- Getting the HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9; and
- Enjoy a healthy diet.
You can book a dental appointment with Temple Dental.
National Smile Month is a UK campaign to promote good oral health.
Fleet Street Clinic is proud to be supporting this great campaign.
Dr Pilar Gesto, one of our highly-qualified dentists, explains why good oral health is key…
“In our busy and sometimes stressful lives, it is common to forget the power of a smile. This simple gesture can affect our work, our social life and our love life. But don’t worry. Beautiful smiles all have one thing in common: they always come from healthy mouths!”
To achieve a healthy and beautiful smile, simply follow the straightforward advice below:
- Clean and floss your teeth after every meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
- Avoid too much food and drinks that may stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not use abrasive toothpaste or products that may damage your enamel, such as sticky foods and acidic diet.
- In some cases, a whitening treatment may be appropriate if recommended by your dentist.
- Most importantly: smile as widely as you can!
FLEET STREET CLINIC – NATIONAL PERFORMERS LIST
At Fleet Street Clinic, we specialise in providing vaccinations and occupational health, often working with medical staff to make sure they have all vaccines, tests and ‘fitness for work’ checks needed to work for agencies supplying the NHS.
We offer services to Medical, Dental and Ophthalmic performers requiring occupational health clearance to join the National Performers List.
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL PERFORMERS LIST?
There are three lists of National Performers, which are maintained for dentists, GPs and opticians. Managed by NHS England, these National Performers Lists “provide an extra layer of reassurance for the public that GPs, Dentists and Opticians practicing in the NHS are suitably qualified, have up to date training, have appropriate English language skills and have passed other relevant checks such as with the Disclosure and Barring Service and the NHS Litigation Authority.”
These checks include occupational health screening to check the practitioner is fit to work and has had the necessary tests and immunisations required for their role.
WHY CHOOSE FLEET STREET CLINIC
Dentists, GPs and opticians applying to join the National Performers List must obtain their Occupational Health Clearance from a SEQOHS-accredited occupational health provider, which Fleet Street Clinic has. We have vast experience in providing occupational health clearance in accordance with Department of Health guidance. Immunisation requirements can sometimes be complex and Fleet Street Clinic provides a personal service with clear, informed and helpful advice.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CLEARANCE TO JOIN THE NATIONAL PERFORMERS LIST?
If you need health clearance to join the National Performers List, contact the clinic or occupational health team prior to making an appointment.
Fill out the form below and we will send you the forms and information needed to submit your application.