DENTISTS CONCERNED OVER SPIKE IN MOUTH CANCER CASES
The Sunday papers ran with the story of businessman Sam Waley-Cohen, 38, who owns 100 dental practices across the UK, claiming deaths linked to mouth cancer will soar if the government refuses to allow dentist to reopen.
Sam Waley-Cohen, a friend of the Duchess of Cambridge, told the Sunday Telegraph it was 'inexplicable' that dentists remained closed as 'most have higher hygiene standards than hospitals'.
Dentist and President of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Philip Lewis, says “It’s great to see an industry leader drawing attention to the need for regular examinations for the early detection of mouth cancer. Sadly, it is still likely to be many weeks before general dental practices can again offer routine appointments for their patients. That’s why it’s so important that people continue to examine themselves at home. There are full instructions about how to do this on our website: https://www.mouthcancerfoundation.org/get-info/bite-back-mouth-cancer
If you find anything you think is suspicious call your dentist for further advice. It’s essential that mouth cancer is discovered and treated early.”
Maxillofacial Surgeon and Ambassador of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Mahesh Kumar says “We understand the reason why dental practices are not currently open. Public Health England and the Chief Dental Officer are concerned for both the public and staff members being exposed to Coronavirus in the practice setting. The increased risk with aerosol generating procedures (AGP’s) in dental surgeries when using drills and ultrasonic scalers subject both the dental team and possibly the patient to transmission of the virus. There are also currently difficulties in accessing appropriate Personal protection equipment (PPE) as it is being diverted to Hospitals and care homes.
However, mouth cancer is often detected by dental surgeons as well as general medical practitioners. Reducing the access to a professional group such as dentists may in the short-term cause anxiety to the public and potentially delay diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers.”
In the meantime, until dental practices re open make sure you regularly check yourself for Mouth Cancer following our 2 minute self examination.