Mouth cancer symptoms: If your breath smells like this you could have the deadly disease

By | November 20, 2018

Mouth cancer may not be the most common cancer in the UK, but around 7,300 people are diagnosed with he disease every year.

There are a number of things that can increase your risk of mouth cancer developing, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.

But whether or not you smoke and drink heavily it’s important you recognise all the symptoms.

One to note is if your breath smells a certain way.

Most people have bad breath at some point in their life and it’s not cancer. But if you have cancer, bad breath might be worse and happen more often, says Cancer Research UK.

What other symptoms of mouth cancer should you look out for?

Mouth cancer can develop on the tongue’s surface, roof of the mouth, inside of the cheeks, lips and gums., according to Dr Harold Katz, founder of The Breath Company.

He said: “Recent research by Mouth Cancer Action has identified that ‘a worrying number of Brits cannot identify the three most likely potential early warning signs of mouth cancer – lumps and swelling (41 per cent), non-healing mouth ulcers (44 per cent) and red patches in the mouth (60 per cent).

“Bearing these statistics in mind it’s essential to check for these symptoms regularly and visit your dentist if these areas don’t heal within three weeks. As with most forms of cancer, early detection is key and can dramatically affect the long-term diagnosis.”

If mouth cancer is detected early, the prognosis is usually fairly good, so it’s crucial that you make regular appointments with your dentists, says Dr Katz, as they will be able to examine your mouth thoroughly and spot any areas of concern quickly.

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How does mouth cancer spread?

Dr Katz explained: “Mouth cancer can spread both through the lymphatic system and also directly out of the mouth and into nearby tissues such as surrounding skin or the back of the jaw.”

Who is more likely to develop mouth cancer – men or women?

Mouth cancer and its symptoms do not discriminate between the sexes, and although symptoms can vary between individuals, men and women should look for the same things, said Dr Katz.

He added: “Mouth cancer can affect anyone, but is twice as common in men than women and approximately 91 per cent of all diagnoses are linked to lifestyle.

“The HPV infection is thought to be associated with the majority of cases that occur in younger people (under 50).”

What can I do to minimise my risk of developing mouth cancer?

Dr Katz recommends three steps:

  1. Visit your dental professional regularly and make an appointment if you spot any changes in your mouth or any signs of swelling, lumps, red patches or mouth ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks. They will be able to check your mouth for any warning signs/early symptoms and advise the best course of action.
  2. Keep your mouth and gums healthy by sticking to a robust oral hygiene regime – brush and floss regularly. Brushing helps eradicate the plaque and bacteria on your teeth, however some toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), a soapy detergent that creates foam but has no cleaning benefit. The additive has recently been linked to serious side effects including canker sores. Flossing is an extra step but an important one, as it helps clean in-between the teeth where toothbrushes often miss. In addition, regular use alcohol-free mouth rinses such as The Breath Company Healthy Gums Oral Rinse will help calm the gum area and work to both eliminate germs associated with gum disease and reduce the formation of biofilm which leads to plaque and tartar build-up. It’s important to steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes as these can exacerbate problems and cause dry mouth.
  3. Take a good look at your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to protect your oral health. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption will greatly decrease the risk of developing mouth cancer and will contribute to healthier gums and mouth. Eat a balanced, healthy diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
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You could be at risk of mouth cancer if you have white patches inside your mouth.

Daily Express :: Health Feed