Approximately 600 people in Victoria are diagnosed with cancer of the mouth (oral cancer), nose or throat every year. The chances of successfully treating such an aggressive disease improve significantly with early detection and intervention. People over the age of 45 years are at increased risk, with men twice as likely as women to develop these types of cancers.
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
The symptoms of mouth cancer can include:
- A visible mass or lump that may or may not be painful.
- An ulcer that won’t heal.
- A persistent blood blister.
- Bleeding from the mass or ulcer.
- Loss of sensation anywhere in the mouth.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Impaired tongue mobility.
- Difficulty moving the jaw.
- Speech changes, such as slurring or lack of clarity.
- Loose teeth and/or sore gums.
- Altered taste.
- Swollen lymph glands.
The following are common factors which can increase the risk of mouth cancer:
- Tobacco use
- Regular and heavy alcohol consumption
- Advancing age
- Sun exposure
- Poor diet
- Poor oral hygiene
- Gum disease
- Habitual chewing of the lips or cheeks
- Irritants, such as breathing in smoky, or constantly polluted, atmospheres
- Leukoplakia (light-coloured patches of atypical cells inside the mouth)
- Herpes simplex infection (cold sores)
- Human papillomavirus infection- HPV (warts)
- Family history of cancer (genetic makeup).
Mouth Cancer Better Health Channel (state government of Victoria)
Mouth cancer usually starts in the cells lining the mouth. The most common sites are the lips, tongue and/or floor of the mouth. Smoking and drinking alcohol are known risk factors. Mouth cancer’s prognosis is typically better when detected and treated in its earlier stages.
At High Dental, we take the examination of the oral tissues of the mouth seriously. At your regular recall and oral examination, we routinely screen the soft tissues of the mouth. We are pleased to add ORAL ID to our most recent diagnostic tool. This enhances our 6 monthly oral check up!
OralID utilises fluorescence technology with a blue light that allows a clinician to identify oral cancer, pre-cancer and other abnormal lesions at an earlier stage, thus saving lives!
This emitted blue light helps the physician to easily identify cancerous tumours, pre-cancer or unusual lesions interior to the mouth. The light does not involve any radiation dose to the patient and is completely non -invasive.
Any suspicious shadows identified with ORAL ID will then warrant further investigation of the oral deformity. The appropriate oral treatment can then be recommended without delay.