Is It A Canker Sore Or Cancer? What To Know

17 January 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


When you have constant canker sores inside your mouth, and over the counter treatments aren't helping, it's time to see a dentist. Oral cancer is a very serious problem in the United States, and it is frequently treated and cured when it is caught at the earliest stages. If you aren't sure if your canker sores are something that are just bumps that will go away, or if they are cancer, you have to get to a dentist for a screening. Here are some indications that the problem is more serious than a virus that will pass over time.

You Have Continual Long Lasting Cancer Sores

The cancer sores in the mouth could just be because you have a breakout of the herpes virus, or that you carry the virus, but you want to be sure. The cancer sores could actually be patches of cancerous skin cells that are spreading throughout the mouth, and without the proper treatment the cancer could affect the rest of your body and become too severe to treat or cure

Discoloration in the Mouth

Have you noticed that the color of your gums has changed, or possibly that the inside of your cheeks have white or red splotches? If so, this discoloration is an indication that you have an oral health concern, whether it be cancerous or not. Look for discoloration around the mouth when examining the cancer sores.

Lifestyle Habits that Increase Your Risk for Oral Cancer

If you have lifestyle habits that increase your risk for getting oral cancer, then this is more of a reason to get checked out by a dentist. This would include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Family history or oral cancer

These are just some of the signs, but you won't be able to get an answer until you are able to see your dentist.

If you call a dental office and you let them know that you have a sore inside your mouth that has been a concern for some time, and that you fear the skin cells could be cancerous, they should be able to get you in with one of their emergency appointments. Keep calling around until you can get in with a dentist within a few days, so you aren't worrying, and so if it is cancer the problem isn't worsening over time. Earliest treatment is best if you want to successfully beat cancer. For more information, visit websites like