17 Mar

The signs, symptoms and treatments of oral cancer – ask your Central London dentist

Oral cancer is a common and virulent form of the disease that occurs in any part of the mouth including the lips, tongue, lining and throat. If diagnosed in the early stages it is highly treatable but the longer it is left to develop without treatment the greater the risk of it being fatal becomes.
There are several risk factors for oral cancer. Firstly, being male makes you more likely to contract the condition, as does being over 50 years of age. Smoking, or using any kind of tobacco product also makes you much more likely to suffer from the disease. In studies of oral cancer patients, it was found that about 75% per cent were smokers or had been smokers at some stage. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor, especially in combination with smoking or using tobacco. There are several other risk factors include diet and genetic history. Although it is important to remember that even if you fit none of the above risk profiles there is still a chance of developing oral cancer.
The symptoms appear as small red, white or blotchy patches on the lining of the mouth that don’t clear up naturally after a couple of weeks. These can be quite painful and sensitive to food and drink of certain temperatures. Other symptoms include unexplained bleeding in the mouth and sudden weight loss.
Most cases of oral cancer are diagnosed by dentists at check up appointments. Central London dentists are trained to spot the first signs of oral cancer. Early diagnosis results in a greater than 80% chance of surviving the cancer and making a full recovery. This is just one of the many reasons why regular visits to your dentist are very important.