Getting Mouthaware for Mouth Cancer Action Month

We’re marking Mouth Cancer Action Month here at Hartley Dental (as you can see by the blue smiles going around!) and one of the biggest aims of the month is to help get people more ‘mouthaware.’

Mouth cancer affects the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat, often in the form of a painless ulcer, an unusual lump or a persistent hoarseness. The good news is, if it’s caught early, there’s a high chance it will be cured. That’s why being mouthaware is so important.

As well as regular visits to your dentist there are six ways you can perform a self-examination by being mouthaware:

Head & Neck

Look at your face and neck. Do both sides look the same? Look for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face.

Neck

Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck. Can you feel any tenderness or lumps?

Lips

Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or change in colour. next, use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.

Cheek

Looking in a mirror, use your finger to pull out your cheek so that you can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches. Put your index finger inside your cheeks and your thumb on the outside. Gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for lump, tenderness or ulcers.

The Mouth

Run your finger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps. Repeat this on the floor of your mouth.

Tongue

Stick out your tongue and look at the surface for any changes in color or texture. Look at one side first, then the other side for any swellings, changes in colour or ulcers. Examine the underside of the tongue.

Each year, 18 people every day are diagnosed with mouth cancer. By being more mouthaware we can all help catch this and treat the cancer earlier which will see a much higher survival rate.

If you are in any doubt get checked out straight away by your dentist or doctor.

You can find out more about Mouth Cancer Action month at www.mouthcancer.org.