The Big smiles blog archive

We’ve partnered with Cancer Research UK, here’s why ...

by Lee Waring | Aug 08, 2016

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with Cancer Research UK as our annual charity of the year.

This year, we put the vote out to all of our practice teams and support centre members, and CRUK was the clear winner.

We’re very excited to be updating you regularly on our big smiles blog on activity we’re doing to fundraise. But first, we thought we’d share with you some facts about why CRUK is such an important charity to mydentist,

dental heartIt’s close to home …

  • Oral cancer can be detected through a simple check-up.
  • Most people are aware of common side effects of cancer treatment like nausea and hair loss. But many don't realize that more than one-third of people treated for cancer develop complications that affect the mouth.
  • These problems can interfere with cancer treatment and diminish the patient's quality of life.
  • Oral complications ranging from dry mouth to life-threatening infections occur in virtually all patients receiving radiation for head and neck malignancies, in approximately 80 per cent of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cell transplant recipients, and in nearly 40 per cent of patients receiving chemotherapy.
  • For patients having radiation therapy to head or neck, restorative and preventive dental care is very important to avoid infection. Patients should see a dentist so that they may identify potential sources of dental infection or irritation. Teeth with severe infection or those that may cause problems during or after therapy should be extracted. Extractions should be done at least one week before the start of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to provide enough time for proper healing.

Mouth cancer

Although there are risk factors heavily linked to the disease, mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why it’s so important that we all know what to look out for:

  • Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumour develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.
  • Tumours can also occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the pharynx (the part of the throat from your mouth to your windpipe) but these are less common.

Symptoms can include:

  • red or white patches on the lining of your mouth or tongue
  • ulcers
  • a lump

SmokingRisk factors for developing mouth cancer include:

  • smoking or using products that contain tobacco
  • drinking alcohol – smokers who are also heavy drinkers have a much higher risk compared to the population at large
  • infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts

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