The importance of checking for mouth cancer
Mouth cancer is becoming increasingly common amongst younger people, but it’s easy to spot the early signs if you know what to look for.
Did you know oral sex and smoking are two of the main causes of mouth cancer, as well as excessive exposure to sunlight and consumption of alcohol? These factors are often part (in varying degrees) of young people’s lives, so it’s really important to regularly check your mouth for symptoms if you think you might be at risk. So, what do the symptoms look like? Early warning signs of mouth cancer can include ulcers that don’t heal after three weeks, red or white lumps and bumps, and pain when swallowing. So, grab a mirror and regularly check your mouth!
We are all aware of the benefits of good oral hygiene and regular dentist check-ups, so why not add checking your mouth for symptoms of mouth cancer to your regular routine? It just takes five minutes to do, every couple of weeks, and could end up saving your life.
According to the NHS, most mouth cancers in young people are caused by the HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV can be transferred by oral sex, and it causes changes in cells and that can cause the cells to become cancerous. To reduce your risk, opt for the HPV jag and always practice safe sex. The same goes for smoking and drinking - if you can’t cut it out completely, make sure you’re not doing it to excess.
To make things simple, NHS Lanarkshire and Coatbridge Peer Education Group and Community Learning and Development have created this quick and helpful advert for young people about the symptoms of mouth cancer and the importance of regularly checking your mouth.
This resource was funded by the Ben Walton Scholarship and Development Grant hosted by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow. We have worked closely with the Ben Walton Trust, a charity which raises awareness of oral cancers in young people, over many years, so it’s great to see them continuing their innovative work. We think the fun, informative video is a fantastic resource that will help to encourage young people to become more familiar with their mouths, and spot the signs of mouth cancer before it’s too late.
If you have any worries or questions, we can provide check-ups and help you maintain a healthy mouth and happy life. Get in touch with us by popping in to the New Town Dental Care practice at 4 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5DS or call our friendly team of Edinburgh dentists on 0131 556 2776.
If you spot any signs you think might be mouth cancer, don’t wait until your next scheduled check-up. Book in now and let us give you a professional opinion, whether it’s something you need to get treated or if it’s nothing to worry about.
For more information about sexual health and mouth cancer visit: nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/can-oral-sex-give-you-cancer/
It is better to be safe than sorry. Check it and book your dental appointment today.