Rising Incidence of Mouth Cancer in UK : “Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention"
According to a recent report, mouth cancer cases in the United Kingdom have reached an all-time high.
The Oral Health Foundation has collected data indicating that 8,864 individuals in the UK were diagnosed with the disease in 2021 marking a 34% increase compared to a decade ago and a 103% increase within the previous generation.
Mouth cancer can manifest as persistent mouth ulcers that are slow to heal, red or white patches in the oral cavity, or unusual lumps and swellings in the mouth, head, or neck.
The Tongue (33%) and tonsil (23%) are the most common sites for mouth cancer, but they can also occur on the lips, gums, inside of the cheeks, as well as the floor and roof of the mouth.
Signs of mouth cancer include:
- Painful mouth ulcers that do not heal within several weeks.
- Unexplained and persistent lumps in the mouth or neck.
- Loose teeth or sockets that fail to heal after extractions.
- Unexplained and persistent numbness or an unusual sensation on the lip or tongue.
- Occasionally, white or red patches on the mouth lining, gums, or tongue, and hoarseness or changes in voice.
If cancer is diagnosed, it is important to seek treatment at a dentist or specialized hospital.
To prevent the development of mouth cancer, adopting a healthy dental routine is recommended. This includes:
1. Regularly brushing and cleaning between your teeth. It is advisable for adults to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, preferably in the morning and before bedtime. It is also important to clean the tongue. Clean between your teeth daily to remove plaque buildup.
2. Avoid the use of tobacco in any form. Smoking and smokeless tobacco, including vaping, can be detrimental to oral health. Quitting or reducing tobacco use can aid in faster healing.
3. Reevaluating your dietary choices. Opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to boost your immune system. Consider reducing the consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, as they can be harsh on tooth enamel. Stay hydrated with fluoridated water for added cavity protection.
4. Regularly rinse your mouth. Rinse your mouth frequently to remove leftover food particles, reducing the risk of tooth decay and infection. Avoid mouth rinses that contain alcohol, as they may be too harsh.
By following these recommendations, you can establish a healthy dental routine that may help prevent the development of mouth cancer.