Are you dealing with a mouth sore? These can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful. But are they dangerous? If you deal with frequent mouth sores, then you’ve probably wondered this. In this article, we will cover the difference between canker sore vs. oral cancer symptoms. We’ll also tell you when it’s time to seek help for your mouth sores.
What is a Canker Sore?
Canker sores are small, flat bumps that form on the inside of a person’s mouth. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, hormone changes, and even certain foods. These are a common oral issue that most of us have dealt with at some point or another. Canker sores can be painful, but they are not dangerous. However, frequent canker sores can impact your quality of life, so still seek treatment if you deal with chronic sores.
What About Oral Cancer?
If you get frequent canker sores (or if you have a particularly bad sore), then you might be worried about oral cancer. After all, a mouth sore can be a cancer symptom, too. However, these sores usually present a little differently. Canker sores are always small and flat with a white center. (However, it might also be a pale yellow or grey color, especially when healing.) Oral cancer sores, on the other hand, can be a variety of colors, including red, white, or brown. They also come in a variety of sizes. Canker sores will clear up on their own after 1-2 weeks, whereas oral cancer sores will not heal. In fact, they will most likely grow as the disease progresses.
Finally, a big difference between canker sore vs. cancer sores is their pain level. Canker sores can range from uncomfortable to downright painful, especially while talking, eating, or drinking. Oral cancer sores, on the other hand, don’t usually cause pain.
When In Doubt, See a Dentist
Not sure if you’re dealing with a canker sore vs. cancer? See a dentist, just to be on the safe side. While oral cancer is treatable in its early stages, it can be devastating if not caught in time. Plus, all cancer patients will have different symptoms, making it hard to spot the disease on your own. Your dentist can perform a quick and easy oral cancer screening.