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Hi, I am 20 years old and I used chewing tobacco for roughly 7-8 months and the amount varied each day. I am extremely paranoid about my mouth and I am worried that I could possibly have cancer just mainly because of an irritation that I have had for about a month and a sore throat that has been on and off usually it gets better when I am not at home for an extended period of time. Also I have this weird semi circular "tag" sort of thing on the left side of my mouth, on the palatogossal arc it is tiny like I didn't even see it until a day and a half ago. I'm worried this could be something. Please help me I am really scared and I don't know if I could live with something like this. I have a dentists appointment in 10 days and I will have him look at it but I would like an opinion besides my paranoid own. Thank you

Answer
Greeting Aidan,

If I understand correctly, you are no longer using chewing tobacco.  I understand your worry about this situation and I know the fear is really horrible.  Statistically speaking it is likely that your fears are likely overblown and your risk of cancer is lower than you think at your age.  Of course there may be other risk factors that you haven't mentioned or even know about that may or may not be present in your case.

You are doing the right thing in having it checked by a professional. I would suggest that  you be examined by a board certified oral surgeon rather than a general dentist because of Oral Surgeon's training and experience in this area.  If your dentist has any suspicion that it may be something serious, he would likely refer you to a specialist for further examination anyhow.

Furthermore, if you are really worried I suggest you see the doctor without waiting 10 days.  Even though your worries are probably unfounded, I don't think you should continue to be frightened for another 10 days.  I say that because of my own previous experience with an unfounded similar fear myself in the past.

Larry Burnett DDS
Lburnett2@comcast.net

Dentistry

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Larry Burnett DDS

Expertise

Preventative Dentistry. Conservative Periodontal Therapy

Experience

National lecturer on conservative treatment of periodontal diseases and elimination of tooth decay. Former adjunct professor of oral microbiology at a Leading school of dental hygiene. Former investigator for State Board of Dentistry. Retired from private dental practice.

Organizations
ADA

Publications
RDH Magazine. Numerous articles

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Medical College of VA School of Dentistry. 20 years teaching hygienists at NOVA

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