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Mouth Cancer Awareness: Signs, Symptoms and Vital Information

Mouth cancer is relatively uncommon and accounts for only 1 in 50 cases of cancer. Although generically referred to as ‘mouth cancer’, the cancer can start in a number of places; including the lips, inside the cheeks, under the tongue and even right behind your wisdom teeth.

Mouth cancer often goes undetected for a significant period of time, and this is largely because people still remain unaware of the signs and symptoms associated with the condition.

However, it’s important to be aware of the signs; in order to ensure that if you or a loved one develop mouth cancer, you’re able to act sooner, rather than later.

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

The key symptom to be aware of is an ulcer inside the mouth that doesn’t heal after three weeks. If you experience this, it’s vital to book an appointment with your local dentist as soon as possible. Remember that it is unlikely to be mouth cancer, but that it’s far wiser to err on the side of caution.

Other key signs of the condition include:

  • Red or white patches on the tongue or in the mouth itself
  • Problems chewing or swallowing
  • Unexplained bleeding from the tongue or mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Unusual, unexplained changes to the voice, such as hoarseness
  • Discomfort or pain
  • A lump on your lip, tongue or inside the mouth
  • Unexplained loose teeth

What Causes Mouth Cancer?

The precise reason why people develop mouth cancer is still unknown. However, links have been found between mouth cancer and excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking. The following lifestyle choices have also been tentatively linked to the disease:

  • Over-exposure to harmful UV rays (sunbeds or direct sunlight)
  • Poor diet
  • HPV (human papilloma virus) which can occur in the mouth

Most people who develop the condition are between 50-75 years of age, though it does sometimes occur in younger people. It’s more common in men than women. The reason for this is unknown, but it has been suggested that it is linked to higher consumption of alcohol.

Diagnosing the Condition: Visiting Your Local Dentist in Ballincollig

If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, the first thing to do is to book an appointment with your local dentist. Your dentist will know exactly what to look for and will be able to advise you as to how best to proceed if there is any cause for concern.

If you do have mouth cancer, it’s important to remember that the condition is very treatable, especially if caught in the early stages. As a result, it’s important that you visit your dentist as soon as you experience any of the symptoms.

Worried? Book an Appointment with Your Local Ballincollig Dentist Today

If you have any concerns about the health of your mouth, teeth or gums, then now is a good time to book an appointment with your local dentist. To enjoy peace of mind, simply arrange an appointment today.

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