Oral health | Oral health | Medway Council
A better Medway

Mouth cancer: early detection saves lives

Mouth cancer kills more people each year than cervical and testicular cancer combined. Being alert to the signs of mouth cancer is just as important. 

Treating mouth cancer successfully depends on early diagnosis.  

If mouth cancer is caught early, the chances of a full recovery are 9 out of 10.

Check now for the following symptoms: 

  • mouth ulcers which do not heal in three weeks
  • red and white patches in the mouth or on the tongue
  • unusual lumps or swellings anywhere in the mouth or head and neck area
  • changes in your voice, such as a husky voice or difficulties swallowing which persists for more than six weeks

You can check for these symptoms at home.  Feel your neck and face for lumps and swellings.

If you notice anything that you’re concerned about, book an appointment with your dentist or GP.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Dentists have reopened but may be running a reduced service. Please telephone your dentist to check which services are available before you visit.

If you do not have a regular dentist, you can find a dentist on the NHS website and call them to receive advice or a referral.

If you have a dental emergency outside of normal surgery opening hours you can call 111 for advice. 

Do not visit your dental practise to discuss an urgent need as they will not be able to see or treat you.

Do not visit any of the emergency dental hubs unless you have been given an appointment.

Oral health during the coronavirus pandemic

Check that your child is not experiencing pain due to tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children in England, but is preventable by avoiding sugary food and drinks and sticking to a good tooth brushing routine.

Poor oral hygiene effects children physically and mentally. This might be caused by pain from decay, self-conscious behaviours due to the appearance of their teeth or even bad breath.  

Local help and advice

Visit the Medway Community Healthcare website for information about accessing emergency dental care.

For healthy eating and recipe ideas follow our Tri for You Facebook page

National help and advice

You can find a dentist.

You can look at NHS advice on how to take care of your children's teeth.

For general oral health advice visit the Oral Health Foundation’s website.

Visit the dentist

You can maintain good oral health by visiting the dentist.

It’s free for children aged under 18 or for children in full time education, aged under 19.

Pregnant women and mothers with a child 12 months or younger receive free NHS dental treatment. 

If you have not had a dental check in the last six months, make an appointment with your local practice. Go to the dentist regularly or as often as your dentist advises.

Top tips for looking after your teeth:

  • have less food and drinks with added sugar and avoid sugary food and drink between meals and before bed. Learn more about lowering your sugar intake and sugar swaps
  • clean your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, once before bed and usually once in the morning. Help children under 8 brush their teeth
  • always spit out your toothpaste. Do not rinse after brushing as this washes away the fluoride you need to help protect your teeth
  • use the right type of toothbrush. The best type of toothbrush is one with a small head and medium-textured bristles and can be manual or electric
  • replace your toothbrush or brush head at least every 3 months or when the bristles are worn or frayed. Damaged bristles will not keep your teeth and gums fully clean
  • clean between your teeth using interdental brushes or dental floss if you're an adult