When we think of oral health, it is common to only consider the teeth and gums. While these are two of the most important components of your oral health, there are other structures that need your care and attention too – such as your lips and tongue.
Just a Canker Sore?
Canker sores present themselves as small ulcers on the lips, tongue or inner cheek. These types of mouth sores can be quite disruptive because they are easily irritated during eating and speaking. While a simple canker sore will typically go away on its own within a week, a complex canker sore can indicate a more serious issue. Complex canker sores can suggest an underlying health condition or an impaired immune system. It is important to let your dentist know if you have a sore of any kind that does not go away within 10-14 days!
When Mouth Sores Don’t Go Away
When a sore develops inside your mouth, take note. If the sore persists for two weeks or more, it is time to let your dentist know. Oral sores that do not go away on their own can be a sign of oral cancer. It is important to note that a true canker sore is not malignant nor does it become malignant. However, if you have a lump, sore or white/red patch that doesn’t get better, it warrants professional evaluation.
Oral cancer can be fatal, but it is also easily treated if it is addressed early. Therefore, it is imperative that you take heed to warning signs that appear on your tongue, cheek and lips. Take the time to examine your entire mouth when you brush and floss your teeth each night. If you notice any unusual changes, monitor it closely or schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Quick, Painless Oral Cancer Screenings from Your Dentist
Did you know that your routine dental visits with Dr. Mitzi Morris include an oral cancer screening? This process takes just minutes without imposing any discomfort to our patients. Oral cancer screenings are one of the most important benefits of attending your dental checkups. While we will certainly examine your complete oral health when you come to our office, don’t forget to give all structures of your mouth the attention they deserve in between visits. If you have a mouth sore or other suspicious oral lesion inside your mouth – we want to hear about it sooner rather than later!
Posted on the behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC