Women have a 13 per cent higher chance of developing oral cancer if they suffer from diabetes, according to new research highlighted by the Dursley dentists at Castle Gate Dental Practice near Stroud.
Overall, women face a 27 per cent increase of developing any form of cancer if they have diabetes, while men also face a 19 per cent increased risk discovered the study published in Diabetologia, the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
With previous research showing close links between diabetes and the development of mouth cancer, as well as other forms of the disease, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, is calling on people to be aware of the close links between their oral health and their wider wellbeing.
Visit your dentist regularly
Charity CEO, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “This could be a very significant piece of research that could help save lives. Diabetes has previously been linked to poor oral health but this new research shows a specific link to mouth cancer.
“This makes regular dental visits an absolute must. If your dentist knows that you are diabetic, they will check your mouth accordingly. For many years we have known that diabetic patients are more likely to get gum disease and need extra dental care but this is yet another reason for regular checks.”
Signs of mouth cancer
Everyone should be aware of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer:
- Be alert to ulcers which do not heal within three weeks
- Take action if you see red and white patches in your mouth
- See you dentist or GP immediately if you find either of the above or unusual lumps or swellings in your head or neck area
In the UK, it is estimated that over four million people live with diabetes, with many cases going undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to lifestyle and diet, has been rapidly increasing in recent years and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.
If in doubt, get checked out
Our dentists Richard Whitcombe and Emma Hewitt screen all patients for mouth cancer because early detection saves lives.