Friday, 15 February 2019

Dental staff give extra bite to mouth cancer campaign

Dental staff give extra bite to mouth cancer campaign

STAFF at Wood Lane Dentistry in Sonning Common went blue to mark mouth cancer awareness month.

They wore blue wigs and blue stick-on lips, the symbol of the campaign, which takes place every November but they were too busy to take part last year. Instead, they decided to hold their own event last week.

A board was set up in the waiting room with pictures of mouth cancer and information leaflets outlining the symptoms.

The signs of the disease include sore mouth ulcers that do not heal, unexplained and persistent lumps in the mouth that do not go away or lumps in the lymph gland or neck.

Other indicators are difficulty swallowing, changes in voice, weight loss, bleeding, numbness, loose teeth, difficulty moving your jaw or red and white patches in the mouth. In the UK, head or neck cancer is the fourth most common type in men and 13th in women. People who drink alcohol and smoke are 35 times more likely to get mouth or throat cancer.

Principle dentist Vikram Chugani said: “We scan for many diseases at the practice, including mouth cancer, and we check for it every time we do a scan.

“We have had a board before and occasionally people would look at it but others would walk past. This year by having the blue wigs it told people that something was going on and it could start a conversation. We have had more interest than in previous years.

“We are also talking about prevention. The main causes of mouth cancer are tobacco and alcohol, so we are providing support and advice in terms of quitting.”

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