Denture wearers should still be having dental check ups. Most dentists recommend a dental check up at least once a year. Regular visits allow your dentist to check the soft parts of your mouth, including the tongue and cheeks. These examinations are important so the dentist can spot any infections, mouth conditions or even mouth cancer at the earliest stages. Full denture wearers should check with their dentist about how often they should visit.
Oral cancer causes more deaths than both cervical and testicular cancer and is becoming increasingly common. In the UK alone it is estimated that oral cancer kills 1 person every five hours. If identified early, oral cancer has a good prognosis, but if it is not caught early it can spread, and survival chances become much lower. Unfortunately, in its early stages oral cancer can go unnoticed. Oral Cancer could look like a common ulcer or a cold sore. Fortunately, your dentist can see or feel if a sore looks cancerous. If you have any type of sore in your mouth, or on your lips, that doesn't heal within two weeks, or a difficulty in swallowing for a prolonged period of time, it is very important to see your dentist right away.
Here are some common oral cancer symptoms:
- White or red patches in the mouth or lips-A white or red patch inside the mouth or the lips is the most common symptom of oral cancer. These patches may also be a combination of red & white.
- Bleeding from the mouth-Any oral bleeding should be reported to your dentist and doctor immediately. Whilst the cause could be many things it is still a symptom of oral cancer and must be checked out.
- A sore or blister in the mouth-Any blister or sore in the mouth that won't heal is a symptom of oral cancer.
The two most significant risk factors for mouth cancer that account for an estimated 90% of cases are:
- cigarette smoking
- prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption
People who both drink and smoke have a particularly high risk. They are more than 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer than people who do not smoke or drink.
If you wear dentures and have not had a dental check up in the last 6 months book yourself in for one as soon as possible and keep your mouth healthy.
For advice on caring for your dentures click here or call The Smile Centre UK on 0844 3098 177