I’ve had a sore in my mouth for a week. I thought it was a canker sore. But, I looked up online and they said sometimes what people think is a canker sore is actually cancer is disguise. Now I’m in a panic. How do I know the difference?
I’m sorry you’re in pain. While the internet is a fantastic resource for many things, it can also cause us to unnecessarily panic. Canker sores can be quite painful, so I completely understand that you’ve been miserable.
We don’t really know what causes them. There are lots of theories but no certainties. Often they clear up on themselves somewhere between 10-14 days. In the meantime, what you can do for some relief is use an over-the-counter anesthetic or numbing agent. They’re sold in tubes and with patches.
The problem with both of them is your saliva affects how long they last. The patches have a hard time staying on for long but can be useful if you’re having trouble eating. You may be able to keep them on until your meal is over.
If a Canker Sore Doesn’t Heal on Time
You’re right there are other conditions which mimic canker sores. While oral cancer is one of them, if you’re getting regular dental care, your dentist will be checking you for that at every check up and would have warned you of signs. It’s more likely a virus. Those can take longer to heal. Again, the patches should give some relief.
If You Don’t Have a Dentist
I’m not naive enough to think everyone has a dentist. For many, dental anxiety keeps them away. That means you may not be getting the oral cancer checks you need. If the sore doesn’t heal within two weeks and you’re worried, you can schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist. They’re dentists who see patients in situations that need quick resolution or it can get dangerous.
Just tell them your situation and they may be willing to see you a bit you in sooner than if you just called to schedule an appointment.
Getting Past Dental Anxiety
If dental fear has kept you away from the dentist, you should look into seeing a dentist who offers sedation options. This can give you stress free / pain free appointments and get you back on track with a healthy mouth.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Ashley Price.