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Mouth Cancer: What Are the Signs?

Cancers of the mouth are becoming increasingly common, with more than 300 cases reported each year in Ireland. These types of cancer are more common in men than in women, although this is changing, and, for both sexes, figures are rising more quickly than any other cancer in the past twenty-five years.

For both types of mouth cancer – oral cavity and pharynx – early diagnosis is vital to improve prognosis. More than half of the people who are treated for mouth cancers will have good outcomes, and this is improving every year, but getting help and treatment at an early stage can make a huge difference.

What Are The Symptoms of Mouth Cancer?

Your dentist will usually perform an examination of your neck, jaw and mouth area at your regular check up. Checking the soft tissues, gums and glands of the neck gives a good indication of health in this area. However, it is essential to be aware of this area yourself and to consult your dentist if you notice any of the following:

  1. Swellings, thickenings, lumps, bumps or rough spots, or eroded areas on the lips, gums or inside the mouth.

  2. Unusual bleeding, numbness, pain or tenderness in any area of the face, mouth or neck.

  3. Patches of white, red, or white and red patches in the mouth.

  4. Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.

  5. Persistent sore on the mouth, face or neck that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks.

  6. A chronic sore throat, including hoarseness or change in voice.

  7. Your teeth or dentures suddenly starting to fit together differently.

  8. Feeling that something is caught in your throat.

  9. Ear pain.

  10. Dramatic weight loss.

Avoid the Risk Factors for Mouth Cancer

You can do a lot to protect yourself from cancers of the mouth developing, and the most important things to focus on are improvements to your overall health.  Some strains of HPV are risk factors for mouth cancers, so be sure to mention these to your dentist.

Eating a good diet, filled with fruits and vegetables of many different colours, is crucial to your wellbeing and to the health and vitality of your mouth. A good diet is the key to building up good immunity so that your body can fight off any infections and viruses to prevent serious illness occurring.

Smokeless tobacco users are fifty times more likely to develop cancers of the gums, cheeks and lining of the lips, and while smoking and drinking alcohol are both risk factors in themselves, the use of the two together is a factor that greatly increases risk.

It’s a good idea to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or radiation in order to protect against lip cancer, and you should ensure that your dentist is aware of any family history of cancer, which could heighten your risk of developing problems.

Visit Your Family Dentist in Cork

If you’re searching for a dentist in Cork who can take care of your oral health, look no further than Guiney Dental Clinic, where our experts are on hand to help! Call today on 021-481 0535.


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