Preventative Dentistry » Mouth Cancer Screening

Mouth Cancer Foundation

At Harrow Lane Dental Practice we carry out mouth cancer screening as standard for all patients as part of their general dental check-up. As is the case with any form of cancer, early detection is essential in increasing the success of treatment. Mouth cancer, also called oral cancer, is a malignant growth which can occur in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips and throat.

The current mortality rate for mouth cancer is just over 50%, which is largely because this form of cancer is often detected late. Mouth cancers have a higher proportion of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma, and are responsible for about 1,700 deaths per year in the UK. That’s why it is so important to spot the signs early, as this significantly improves survival rates. Your dentist is the best-placed person to spot early signs of mouth cancer.


Screening for mouth cancer is a simple, painless procedure carried out during your standard dental check-up. Your dentist will analyse your dental history and take into account habits such as smoking, which can raise the risk of developing mouth cancer. They will then thoroughly examine both the inside and outside of your mouth.

Outside your mouth we’ll check your lips, head and neck, while inside your mouth we’ll check the inside of your lips, your cheeks, tongue, gums and throat for any abnormal lumps, growths or ulcers that are slow to heal.

Should we find anything suspicious, we’ll refer you straight away to a hospital consultant for further investigation. Similarly, if you notice any abnormal lumps or anything else unusual between your regular dental check-ups, please contact us immediately for an appointment.

Mouth Cancer Screening
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