Emergency dentist and oral cancer

At Polwarth Dental Clinic, we know how important it is to maintain good oral health. But did you know that our emergency dentist in Edinburgh is also trained to find and triage oral cancer? Let’s learn more below.


Signs of oral cancer

Oral cancer is growing in prevalence in the UK and we are on a mission at Polwarth Dental Clinic to stop that.

So, what are some of the signs that you should look for and when should you call our emergency dentist in Edinburgh?

It can initially appear as a small growth in your mouth; on your tongue, your inner cheek or on or around your salivary glands. Or, it can be a recurring set of ulcers that are growing in size. If you have a dental ulcer that is larger than a 5 pence piece, you should call our emergency dental team right away for an assessment.  Or, it can look as benign as recurring oral bleeds, and it can often be confused with more common and less threatening dental problems such as gum disease.

If you have any concerns about oral cancer, you should seek medical advice from our team. We may invite you into our clinic for an assessment, which, while scary, is an important step in the diagnostic process.

Risk factors and oral cancer

Unfortunately, research points to a trend in those who develop oral cancer; it is more prevalent in men than women and men over the age of 50 are at the highest risk.

Those who have a family history of oral cancer are also at a high risk of developing it and, of course, if you smoke cigarettes, a pipe or chew tobacco, the risk is even higher.

Research has also found that those who consume alcohol excessively may also have a higher risk of developing oral cancer alongside those who are self-proclaimed ‘sun-worshippers.’ Excessive UV exposure is another factor in the development of oral cancer and, if you have been diagnosed with human papillomavirus or HPV, your risk is also greater.


While it is easy to panic, it is worth noting that when it is caught early enough, oral cancer has one of the highest survival rates.

Its treatment is similar to many cancer treatments; the growth, mole or the concerning area of skin will be removed and, following a biopsy, you will be given either radiation therapy or chemotherapy to eliminate the remaining cancerous cells.

Seeking emergency help

If you suspect that you have oral cancer, then you need to seek help as soon as possible.

Our emergency dentist in Edinburgh can triage your likelihood of developing oral cancer, alongside looking at the lump, bump or other areas that are causing concern.

If we determine that you require further help, we will refer you to an oncologist who can perform the appropriate tests and begin treatment if necessary. If you are worried about oral cancer risk in yourself or a family member, then do not hesitate to contact our team at Polwarth Dental Clinic.