Your gums feel strange, but not enough for you to know what the problem is. Maybe they're irritated, they bleed when you brush or floss or you've noticed a white spot on the surface itself. There are a number of issues that can affect your gums, not necessarily limited to gingivitis and more advanced forms of gum disease. Although gum disease is the more common of the two – affecting slightly more than 47 percent of all adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – oral cancer is also a legitimate possibility.
Gum cancer is even less common, affecting about 39,500 people in the U.S. this year as estimated by the American Cancer Society. Knowing how to tell the difference and when to see your dentist will help you keep your mouth healthy in spite of this uncomfortable condition.