“The Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth”
By Chris “Dr Smile Maker” Branfield
Stand Up To The Big C
Hello again, I hope you are well. Another busy month on the onward quest for better. Been to Manchester, Cambridge University and Birmingham this month looking at updates on a myriad of subjects from osseo-densification to 3D imaging. Knowledge is King and every little bit of extra can make a big difference at times. That’s why it never stops. Making a difference is the buzz.
Standing Up To The Big C Then
Now, by the Big C I don’t mean Christmas. Even with some of the over commercialisation that is a bit Ba Humbug. No, by the Big C, I mean Cancer. As I write we are in the middle of Mouth Cancer Action Month. There has been a new, up to date survey done and it is a bit concerning to say the least. In the last 10 years moth cancer has increased almost 50%!!!
So What Causes It Then?
Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK. However, the traditional ethnic habits of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous.
Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body. HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.
What Should We Be Looking Out For?
Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer, as can any unusual lumps or swellings. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.
How Can Mouth Cancer Be Detected Early?
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. Remember, your dentist is able to see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself. If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good.
How Can I Keep My Mouth Healthy?
It is important to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.
When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, or ulcers, that have not cleared up within three weeks. A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E and folic acid provides protection against the development of mouth cancer. Plenty of fruit and vegetables help the body to protect itself, in general, from most cancers. Cut down on your smoking and drinking, of course.
We Need To Look After Ourselves
Until next time.
Take care and be good.
Have a great Christmas!
Chris Branfield is Principal Dentist at Castle Park Dental Care, Castle Villa, 28 Castle Road, Cottingham, telephone 01482 772550. He has been in dental practice for 23 years and has a special interest in life changing, pain free dentistry with dental implants, rapid teeth straightening and cosmetic dentistry. And, not only that Chris is founder member and trustee of Dental Mavericks charity- ending the daily dental pain of Moroccan kids. For more patient success stories and Chris’s charity work go here now www.castlepark