The community dental team at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust is urging local people of all ages to come along and have a free mouth cancer check next week (Thursday 29th November).
As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, the Special Care Dental Service and the Stop Smoking team are working together to provide free mouth cancer checks, and raise awareness of the disease and its signs and symptoms. The free, drop-in session is taking place at Healthwize, 105 Union Street, Torquay, from 1.30pm until 4pm on Thursday 29th November.
Mouth Cancer Action Month highlights that more than 6,000 people annually are diagnosed with mouth cancer, half of which will lose their life to the disease. Early warning signs include mouth ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual changes in the mouth.
Richard Garton, Clinical Director for the Special Care Dental Service, at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust said: “The oral health checks are free and are a perfect opportunity for people to get their oral health checked as well as getting information and advice on how to maintain good oral health.
“Attending a dentist regularly is not only important for the health and longevity of your teeth, but dentists, as a matter of course, also check your mouth for signs of cancer. Spotting the signs and symptoms early is key to the successful treatment of the disease.
“Screening for mouth cancer is quick, easy and typically consist of an examination of the tongue, gums, lips, inside cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth.
“Anyone can attend the drop in session and if you haven’t had a check up with your dentist in the last 12 months I would strongly recommend coming along to the drop in session.”
Paul Sheward, Torbay Stop Smoking Service Manager for Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust said: “It is fantastic to be working with the Special Care Dental Team to provide free oral health checks.
“Mouth Cancer is just one of many diseases that are linked to smoking and giving up not only reduces your risk to more serious and life threatening diseases such as cancer but can also improve your general health almost immediately.
“Quitting smoking isn’t easy but getting support from the Stop Smoking Service means you are four times more likely to quit smoking successfully and stay smoke free. If you are thinking about quitting smoking or would like more information about quitting and the support we provide you can get in touch with the service on 01803 299160.”
It is recommended that you should visit your dentist every 12-24 months. If you are not registered with a dentist, NHS dentist places are available. For details of practices in your local area please contact the Dental helpline on 01392 269451.
To attend the screening session you can drop-in on the day or if you prefer you can book in advance. To book a slot either call in to Healthwize, Union Street, Torquay or contact the service directly on 01803 299160.