Unfortunately, oral cancer is an increasingly prevalent type of cancer in North American populations. While it is most commonly found in smokers or chewing tobacco users, oral cancer can occur in anyone.
Oral cancer can be very difficult to diagnose as it can take on any one of many appearances. Although it sounds old-fashioned, the best way to diagnose oral cancer is still a combination of visual and tactile examination by the dentist's trained eye. It is important to come for regular dental cleaning appointments as the dentist will routinely check for signs of oral cancer in each patient at these appointments.
A separate oral cancer screening appointment can also be made if you desire one. The dentist will discuss the findings of this exam with you and will inform you if a biopsy is required to confirm a diagnosis.