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sore behind teeth roof of mouth

For 8 months now, I have had a sometimes sore, slightly swollen or lumpy area just behind my front teeth on the roof of my mouth. It is small, may be a slight enlargement of the little bump normally there, is slightly red sometimes. I am 71 and an ex-smoker (very heavy smoker for 20 years, no smoking for past 14 years). I'm worried this may be a cancer. My dentist looked and said he didn't think so, my internist looked and said he didn't think so and what did the dentist say, and no one has referred me to an oral surgeon. I live in a rural area. Is there any way to see a competent oral surgeon or ENT specialist with this knowledge without a referral?
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