Mouth cancer sometimes referred to as oral cancer, is characterised by the development of a tumour in the lining of the mouth. A tumour can grow anywhere within the mouth, including the tongue, the inside of the cheeks, the gums, the lips, or on the roof of the mouth.
Over time, mouth cancer can spread, either around the mouth or to other parts of the body. If left untreated, mouth cancer can become life-threatening. It is crucial you book in for a mouth cancer screening if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms.
In its early stages you might notice small bumps on the inside of your mouth or your tongue, lips, or gums. Other common symptoms include persistent sores in the mouth or on the lips and loose teeth.
As the disease develops; you may experience soreness in the mouth, discomfort or difficulty when swallowing, white or reddish patches inside the mouth, earache, numbness, and changes in your speech.
Mouth cancer can affect anyone, although it is most common in those aged between 50 and 74 and tends to be more common in men than women.
Your dentist will examine your mouth for any signs or symptoms of mouth cancer, and they may choose to refer you to a specialist for additional tests if they find anything suspicious.
During your screening exam, the dentist will check the inside of your mouth for abnormalities such as red and white patches, mouth sores, and unexplained lumps and bumps.
Following the procedure, if your dentist has noticed any signs of mouth cancer, they may refer you to a specialist.