Watch Your Mouth

Self Examinations can Spot Signs of Trouble Through the day, you check the mirror—your hair, your collar, your hem. Ever open your mouth to see what's inside? You should, and not just when you feel pain or find blood on your toothbrush. You should routinely examine your oral orifice for any changes. Watch for red or white spots or other discolorations and small sores or swellings. Most of these oral lesions, as we call them, are harmless and easily explained. A tortilla chip or crust of French bread bruised your mouth, for example. But if you use alcohol or tobacco, or if you're being treated for any number of systemic diseases—such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders—these little irritations could signal [...]