If in doubt, get checked out!

The purpose of Mouth Cancer Action Month is to increase awareness of the disease, its symptoms and the risk factors.

6000 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK this year and half will die of it. Early diagnosis gives patients a 90% chance of survival however.

Mouth cancer can affect the lips, tongue, gums and cheek and the most common symptoms are mouth ulcers that do not heal after three weeks, red or white patches on the tongue or gums, or unusual lumps or swellings. Less common symptoms include pain when chewing or swallowing, a sore throat that won’t go away, a thickening of the cheek or any unusual pain, bleeding or numbness. The issue is, if in doubt, get checked out and ask your doctor, dentist or pharmacist.

The risk factors are smoking, alcohol, Human Pappilloma Virus (HPV) and a poor diet.
• Smoking is considered the leading cause of mouth cancer in the UK. Tobacco use transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous.
• Drinking alcohol to excess can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer by up to four times, but people who both smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer, as alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco in to the mouth.
• HPV, transmitted through oral sex activity is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer and is thought to account for the significant rise in younger people being afflicted with the disease.
• Poor diet is a risk factor, and it is recommended people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Omega 3 found in eggs and fish can help lower the risks as can foods such as nuts, seeds, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.

Patients attending dental practices on a regular basis will normally undergo checks for mouth cancer during examination appointments. People who are registered with a dentist but have not had an examination appointment for more than 12 months are advised to do so.

Poundbury Dental Practice is supporting the Mouth Cancer Action Month in November and is offering free mouth cancer screening checks to people who have not seen a dentist for more than 12 months – people who do not have a dentist, or their registration has lapsed, and it is these people we are offering this free service to.

The appointments are completely free and will normally take a few minutes. The mouth cancer screening sessions will take place on selected Friday afternoons in November from 2pm and those interested are asked to contact Poundbury Dental Practice on 01305 268068. More information about mouth cancer can be found on the practice website which is located at

Tim Warren
Poundbury Dental Practice

P.S. Call us for free private consultations for cosmetic dental treatments. One of the treatments Dr Wilhelm Grotepass will be offereing will be dental implants for just £1,600 each, subject to conditions

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