A Bedford dentist is urging patients to register for NHS treatment after research revealed an 88 per cent rise in cases of mouth cancer and a link between gum disease and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Cancer Research figures show cases of mouth cancer have jumped by a third in men and women over the last decade, and by 88 per cent since the 1970’s, while a study of 70,000 post-menopausal women over seven years revealed those with gum disease were 14 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer (2).
Karen Turner, from mydentist, said: “The more we learn about the links between good oral health and how it can impact on your health generally the more important we feel it is to encourage people to take advantage of NHS dental treatment.
“We are not just here to help patients when they’re in pain, our dentists are able to spot the early signs of mouth cancer and help patients who are suffering from gum disease minimise the impact of the condition.
“We would encourage anyone in Bedford who hasn’t been to the dentist for a while to get in touch and book an NHS check-up that costs just £18.50.”
Mouth cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth and start as a painless mouth ulcer that doesn’t heal as you would expect it or a white or red patch. It can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist and the earlier it is detected the better your chance of a cure.
Gum disease is inflammation of the gums that can be spotted if you see blood on your toothbrush or in the water when you rinse, or if you have persistent bad breath.
Researchers believe gum disease could link to breast cancer because it indicates systemic inflammation in the rest of the body that has originated in the gums, which, when damaged can act as a gateway for bacteria in the mouth to enter the circulatory system.
Inflammation is linked to a number of cancers and stroke and heart disease and it is estimated it affects half of all adults in the UK.
Patients can find their local practice at www.mydentist.co.uk and call or use online booking to make an appointment.