As your dentist is already peering at your mouth closely during a routine checkup, they’re also in the perfect position to check for early signs of oral cancer. The dentist can look for white or red patches in your mouth along with mouth sores that can indicate the presence of the cancer.
Of course, the presence of such sores in your mouth doesn’t necessarily mean that you have oral cancer. In fact, it’s very common for people to have these mouth sores, and most of the time they turn out to be non-cancerous. If you want to be sure, then a biopsy on the sores may have to be done.
You may want to be very sure if you’re one of those people for whom oral cancer represents a higher possibility. You’re more likely to get oral cancer if you smoke or chew tobacco or if you tend to drink heavily on a regular basis. It may also be cancer if you’ve previously received an oral cancer diagnosis beforehand.
Ask your doctor about when an oral cancer screening and a biopsy will be appropriate for you. You may also want to get some advice on how you can quit smoking and heavy drinking if you wish to reduce the chance of oral cancer.