Orpington’s Campaign Against Mouth Cancer: A Community Health Strategy

As the proud stewards of oral health in our community, we at Orpington Dental have always strived to promote the importance of good dental hygiene. Recently, our efforts have been directed towards a more potent threat oral cancer. After witnessing the devastating impact of this disease on individuals and families in Orpington, we felt an urgent need to act. Hence, we launched a campaign against mouth cancer Orpington. Our objective is not just early detection, but collaborative prevention as well, empowering each resident with the knowledge and tools to safeguard their oral health. We believe that, united as a community, we can significantly reduce the instances of oral cancer in Orpington. This campaign is more than a health strategy; it is our commitment to ensure that every smile in our community continues to radiate health and happiness.

Understanding Oral Cancer


Before we delve into our fight against mouth cancer Orpington, it’s crucial to understand the disease. Oral cancer, primarily affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, or throat. It often presents as a persistent sore or growth. While individuals who smoke, use tobacco, or consume excessive alcohol are at higher risk, it’s important to note that oral cancer can affect anyone. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection, as symptoms are easier to manage in the early stages. Despite its severity, oral cancer is preventable and treatable, especially when caught early. This understanding forms the foundation of our determined efforts at Orpington Dental.

The Role of Orpington Dental in the Fight Against Oral Cancer

At Orpington Dental, we’re driving the charge against mouth cancer Orpington. We’ve incorporated advanced screening methods for early detection into our routine check-ups. Additionally, we provide comprehensive oral health education to our patients, explaining the risk factors and signs to watch out for. By combining high-quality dental care with a focus on preventative measures, we’re helping to keep our community healthy. We’re not just your local dental practice; we’re your partners in the fight against oral cancer. And together, we’re making a difference.

Preventing Oral Cancer Our Proactive Approach

Our proactive approach at Orpington Dental revolves around prevention. We strongly believe that preventative dental care is the key to combating oral cancer in Orpington. Regular check-ups, coupled with oral cancer screenings, can detect early signs of the disease. Additionally, we provide advice on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, which are instrumental in preventing oral cancer. Encouraging our patients to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption is another integral aspect of our approach. We strive to create a culture of awareness and prevention, instilling an understanding that a healthy mouth is an essential part of overall well-being.

The Power of Community: Our Collaborative Efforts

Our campaign against oral cancer extends beyond our dental practice. We’re fostering partnerships with local schools, businesses, and health organisations, spreading awareness and offering preventative advice. We believe that our collective efforts can create a protective shield against oral cancer in our community. We’re also organising community health events, where residents can learn more about the disease and get screened for early detection. By combining our skills and resources, we’re creating a wave of change, transforming Orpington into a healthier community. Our collaborative efforts underscore the power of unity in the face of adversity. Together, we’re proving that oral cancer doesn’t stand a chance against the collective strength of Orpington.

Mouth cancer in Orpington

Mouth cancer in Orpington can be detected in its earliest stages with regular dental check-ups. At Orpington Dental, we conduct checks for mouth cancer and any signs of any other issues as a matter of course when our patients come in for the once over, as well as giving advice on treatment options that can help get them back to full oral health. This guide explores the signs of possible oral cancer, the causes and risk factors and how patients can reduce the chances of this occurring.

What are the signs of mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer in Orpington is an umbrella term for cancer that is found in the areas in and around the mouth. The areas affected can include the lips, tongue, gums, the inside of the cheeks, under the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Symptoms of concern that require further investigation include white or red patches that make the tissue look different to the rest of the mouth.

What symptoms should patients be aware of?

Mouth cancer in Orpington is characterised by sore parts of the lips or inside the mouth that are resistant to healing and the presence of white or red patches. Loose teeth and lumps or bumps in the mouth can also indicate that there is an issue as can pain or discomfort in the mouth or even in the ears. Struggling to swallow can also be evidence that there is an issue that needs to be examined.

What should the patient do if they have any of these signs or symptoms?

The most important message here is that patients should not panic if they notice any of these issues. It is possible that they are not indicative of mouth cancer and have been caused by other conditions such as gum disease or infections.

Secondly, if there is cancer present, then spotting it early and getting help as soon as possible allows the patient the best possible chance of a full and speedy recovery. Therefore, making an appointment with us for a full examination helps to get the full picture and get started on any treatment that is needed.

What causes mouth cancer?

All cancers are the result of DNA within our cells changing and mutating into a state that is undesirable for good health. Abnormal cells cause lumps or tumours which can then grow and spread. Most oral cancer cases are squamous cell carcinomas, mutations of the thinner cells within the mouth and lips.

What are the risk factors and how can we prevent it?

Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer. It is never too late to reduce the risk of mouth cancer by stopping smoking. Patients can get advice from us and their doctors on how best to beat the smoking habit. Drinking too much alcohol can also raise the risk of mouth cancer. Therefore, it is best to drink no more than one drink per day or even eliminate the consumption of alcohol altogether. Sun exposure is also a factor, so it is a good idea to ensure that the lips are well protected from the sun.

Screening- early mouth cancer prevention

Yes, the 6-month dental check up can be tedious at best but did you know that along with the checking teeth, we also perform a cancer screening as a routine part of our checkups? So, we are fighting mouth cancer Orpington everyday.

Symptoms to be aware of

Swelling or lumps with no obvious cause in either your neck or mouth, red or white patches or a change in texture are well-known signs of mouth cancer Orpington. It is also possible that there would be no visible growth at all, then the appearance of sudden ulcers that do not respond to treatment within 3 weeks. A pain, tension or discomfort in the throat or mouth, a persistent tickly cough which is unproductive are all symptoms to be aware of.

Sudden unexplained weight loss and persistent fatigue is a symptom universal to cancers and should not be ignored. Across all cancers early detection and intervention significantly improves the outcome.

The screening process is extremely simple and it is based on observation and skill of the practitioner. If there are any suspicious growths or lumps we would need to further observe them under magnification. Cancerous growths share similar properties, such as the colourings and their borders. If anything that warrants further investigation is found, you’ll be advised to follow it up with your physician. This is not a diagnosis but more of a precaution.

Procedures are non-interactive and quick.There is no reason not to engage in screening and we have included it free in our checkups. We like to think we are giving you one less thing to worry about.

I have a sore in my mouth, a sore lump or growth. What should I do?

It can be scary when you find anything lump based or unusual in your mouth and it’s easy to bury your head in the sand and see it all as insignificant. Particularly if you’re in the high-risk group of smokers or overweight, it’s very important to attend a screening.

Cancer Research UK recommends yearly screening for smokers but there is no harm in having a bi-yearly screen as part of your check-up. So, if you have a sore in your mouth that isn’t going away or have noticed a lump, please contact us.

As part of community dentistry, we don’t only see mouth cancer Orpington, but we see our screening as part of the dental service and giving back to the community which has supported our clinic for so many decades. Incorporating screening into dental services has been relatively simple and we are proud to be leading the way among local surgeries, Hopefully, in the future, some screening will be seen as a normal and universal part of everybody’s 6-months dental check-up.

If you have any concerns about oral cancers please feel free to get in contact with our clinic. We would be happy to advise you further or book you in for a screening. You can also get more guidance from the Mouth Cancer Federation; this can be an excellent source of reliable information but should not be seen as an alternative to professional screening.

What is a mouth cancer screening and how can I try to prevent mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer is also known as oral cancer, and occurs when a tumour develops in the lining of the mouth. Mouth cancer can occur in a variety of places within the mouth, such as the cheeks, the tongue, as well as the roof of the mouth (commonly known as the palate). Tumours can also be found within the glands of the mouth, (that essentially produce saliva), as well as the tonsils and pharynx (part of the throat connecting the mouth to your windpipe).

Mouth Cancer Screening in OrpingtonA mouth cancer screening is essentially an examination undergone by one of our dental healthcare professionals, in order to attempt to spot the stages of mouth cancer early ( a form of preventative dentistry). During a mouth cancer screening, certain areas of the mouth will be assessed and analysed.

There are a variety of steps our patients can take in order to prevent mouth cancer from occurring. One lifestyle choice you can make is to limit the amount of alcohol you consume (for example, not consuming more than the recommended weekly amount). Smoking can also be a huge factor in reducing the chances of oral cancer from occuring. One other lifestyle factor, which can greatly affect your chances of developing mouth cancer, is your diet; consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and oils (also known as a Mediterranean diet) can help to prevent cancer.

What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?

One obvious signs of oral cancer can be mouth ulcers, which may be sore and last for several weeks without going away (like normal mouth ulcers). Lumps within the mouth may also be a symptom; these are typically unexplained and do not go away. Lumps within the neck, looseness of teeth, as well as a strange feeling within the lips, are also symptoms.

What can I expect from a mouth cancer screening?

During your mouth screening with us, you may either have some expectations or have no idea what to expect. Essentially, the process is simple, and relatively quick, however it is  important, and should be undergone twice a year.

Your mouth screening will be extremely shorter than you expect, and you will be assessed using a hand held device to check for any lumps or lesions you may have. Using this hand held device will check for any potential risk factors, which means a correct treatment can be diagnosed by us as quickly as possible.

Why is it important for me to see the dentist?

Mouth cancer is extremely dangerous; this is why it is important to visit us regularly for check-ups, and if you have anything you view as a concern (such as a small lump or ulcer) then it is recommended that you see us straight away. It is vital for our patients to learn how to detect the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer early, in order to ensure the health of your mouth, and decrease the risk of developing cancer.

More than just a pretty face

Did you know your dentist and your dental surgery can offer you so much more than just looking after your teeth and gums? At Orpington Dental Care, we take your oral health seriously and for this reason we offer additional services that ensure you and your family are taken care of.

Mouth Cancer Screening in OrpingtonMost people are aware of the link between smoking and cancer, and because of the increase in mouth cancer incidents we offer you information and support as you cut down or stop smoking altogether.

Smoking and its effects on your teeth

The chemicals in cigarettes damage the health of your teeth and gums in many ways. Smoking actually damages the cells of your gums making them prone to infections and diseases. Without healthy gums your teeth are undermined, leading to the possibility of tooth loss and decay. In addition, the nicotine and tar in your cigarettes stain your teeth and cause bad breath, and can also lead to jawbone loss, shrinking gums, mouth sores, decreased sense of taste and smell and poor healing of your mouth. Overall, smoking’s not great for your health and is one of the key indicators for cancer.

In Orpington, mouth cancer screening is available to you and your family.

We offer a yearly screening for mouth cancer for all our patients. If you have or are giving up smoking, it’s vital that you attend your screening and ensure that the health of your mouth and gums are normal.

When you attend your screening, your dentist will give a thorough examination of your mouth, throat and around your tongue. Using a handheld device, they will assess your health and look out for any abnormalities, so we can then provide you with swift treatment or refer you on if this is needed.

You can ask Dr Loubser any questions about smoking cessation and your yearly mouth cancer screening. She is dedicated to your oral health and ensuring all our patients receive the best dental care. If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this blog, call our reception for an appointment. At Orpington Dental Care you don’t have to worry, we put you at the centre of our practice.

Why mouth cancer screening is important

Your overall health is affected by your oral health, which is why it is really important to visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups. While cavities, plaque, and gum disease are common problems that you might experience if you are not careful with your oral health, you also run the risk of developing oral cancer. Oral cancer tends to be painless and many patients overlook the symptoms. However, if detected early, oral cancer is curable with a significantly improved recovery rate over later detections.

Mouth Cancer Screening in OrpingtonAt Orpington Dental Care, we urge our patients to visit the dental practice for a mouth cancer screening as soon as they notice something wrong with their mouth or throat. Ideally, the screening should be performed at least once a year or more frequently if you are at higher risk of developing oral cancer. The screening process is painless and very quick.

Who can get oral cancer?

Though generally, people who smoke or drink excessively are at higher risk of developing oral cancer, anyone can be at risk. New findings also suggest that while most oral cancers are diagnosed in people aged 45 and over, younger patients are also at risk due to complications caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.

What are the warning signs?

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in or around the mouth including the tongue, lips, cheeks, palates, sinuses and the throat. The signs and symptoms of oral cancer typically mean it is already developed and you are running out of time to treat it effectively. These include white patches in your mouth, bleeding that is not related to gum disease, swelling, lumps, bumps, spots and sores on the face and the neck that do not heal. Your dentist will examine your face, mouth and throat thoroughly and determine whether any of these symptoms are related to oral cancer. Sometimes the issue can be something entirely unrelated, and sometimes it can be oral cancer. However, any of these symptoms warrant a visit to the dentist to request a mouth cancer screening.

By making it a point to visit your dentist regularly, you make it easier for oral cancer and other dental problems to be identified and treated at an early stage.

Mouth Cancer Screening

We know that cancer is a scary word. Cases of mouth cancer are on the rise and, like any form of cancer, early detection vastly increases the chances of making a full recovery. That’s why we undertake mouth cancer screening as standard during your regular dental check-ups.

mouth cancer screeningAs dentists we have the experience and equipment to spot the early stages of mouth cancer, even before you may have noticed anything yourself. However, if you do find anything suspicious between your regular check-ups, please make an appointment to see us straight away. Remember: the earlier mouth cancer is spotted, the better your chances of recovery are.

Symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • Lumps in the mouth, tongue or throat
  • Red or white patches in the mouth or throat
  • Ulcers which do not heal
  • Persistent mouth pain or pain/problems swallowing
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck
  • Changes to speech or voice
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Problems moving the jaw
  • Bleeding/numbness in the mouth
  • Teeth that become loose for no obvious reason

Should you notice any of these signs, or anything else suspicious, book an appointment straight away. One of our dentists will carry out a thorough examination of the whole of your mouth, using a special hand-held device to scan any lesions or lumps they may find. This helps to highlight any risk factors; if we do find anything suspicious, we will refer you to a hospital consultant for further investigation.

In many cases, anything we find may be benign. However, because of late detection, mouth cancers have a higher number of deaths per number of cases than the more widely publicised conditions breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma. Currently there about 2,700 deaths from mouth cancer in the UK every year.

For more information about mouth cancer, including diagnosis, treatment and support groups, please visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation website.