Even if you visit your dentist regularly, you are in the best position to notice changes in your mouth. Your dentist sees you only a few times a year, but you can examine your mouth frequently to look for changes that might be of concern. These changes could include swollen gums, chipped teeth, discolored teeth or sores or lesions on your gums, cheeks or tongue. A regular examination is particularly important for tobacco users, who are at increased risk of developing oral cancer. If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, your dentist or dental hygienist can show you where lesions are most likely to appear.
(Source: Simple Steps to Better Dental Health, www.simplestepdental.com)