Boyne dental Clinic understands that the thoughts of any cancer are very daunting for a patient. We are here to help you in the first steps of your diagnosis with refard to oral cancer and point you in the right direction for any future treatment you may need. We will take the time to examine your mouth and listen to your concerns.
Oral cancers can occur in the lips, the tongue, the gums, the cheeks, the roof of the mouth (the hard palate) and the floor of the mouth (under the tongue). Head and neck cancer is a general term used and includes cancers of the mouth.
In general, head, neck and mouth cancers are not common and most are squamous cell cancers. The exact cause of mouth cancers is unknown. The risk does increase if you are older, male, smoke or drink a lot of alcohol. Other risk factors include sun exposure, exposure to chemicals and dusts in the workplace, a diet poor in fruit and vegetables, or if you have a HPV infection.
Some common symptoms of head, neck and mouth cancers include;
- A sore or ulcer that does not heal – longer than 3 weeks
- A swelling or lump in your mouth or neck
- White or red patches in the lining of your mouth or on your tongue
- Difficulty or pain on chewing and swallowing
- Sore throat or difficulty speaking
- Unexplained pain in your face, jaw or throat
- Numbness in your jaw, face and mouth for no known reason
- Unexplained loose tooth/teeth
- Blocked or bleeding nose
- Changes in your breathing at rest.
A visit to your dentist (or your GP) is the first step needed if you are worried about any symptoms.
At Boyne Dental we will examine you and if we are still concerned refer you to hospital for more tests where you may be seen by a specialist doctor, such as an oral surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon or an ENT specialist (ear, nose and throat).