How would I know if I had oral cancer?

If you notice any red or white patches in your mouth, then you should have them looked at.  Most lesions that are benign will subside in a couple of weeks, so anything that seems odd that has been present for more than may require a biopsy.  If the lesion is sore or tender, then this could be a sign that it is worsening.  Oral cancer is often tough to detect in its early stages, but there are adjunctive tests out that can catch them early.  Oral cancer has a poor survival rate, so early detection (like all forms of cancer) is imperative.

I’ve heard that lasers can treat my gum disease. Is that true?

There is a lot of controversy on laser therapy to treat gum disease.  Because there are no clinical studies to date, there is no definitive answer on what the long term effects will be. 

The American Academy of Periodontology came out with a statement based on all the scientific evidence available to date and said ” the dental literature indicates that when uses as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), mechanical, chemical, or laser curettage has little to no benefit beyond scaling and root planing alone.”

In other words, there is no evidence to support that laser treatment to treat gum disease is any better than non-surgical treatment and certainly has not been shown to outweigh surgical therapy.