When Mouth Sores Won’t Heal

December 27th, 2010 by JillN123

Mouth sores, whether they’re abrasions or what we call cold sores, fever blisters, or canker sores (which are often apthous ulcers), can be quite painful. Rinsing the mouth with salt water will help dry out the sore and promote healing. Some over-the-counter medications may also be beneficial. But what if a mouth sore sticks around for a week or two?

Any time you experience a mouth sore that does not heal in two weeks, it’s time to see the dentist. Maybe it’s nothing. Or maybe it’s oral cancer. You need to know.

Oral cancer claims about 8000 American lives each year, killing one person ever hour of every day. If a dentist uses an early detection tool, like ViziLite or VELscope, oral cancer cells might be found early. Many dentists, however, rely on a visual exam to detect oral cancer lesions. At every checkup, your dentist should screen for oral cancer.

If suspicious cells or a lesion is detected, a biopsy should be taken and sent to the lab for analysis. Many times, the biopsies come back negative, and all is fine. If a biopsy is positive, your dentist should refer you to a specialist for further examination.

I’m Dr. Charles Martin of the Richmond Smile Center, and I want you to enjoy excellent oral health and high quality of life for years to come. If you live in the Richmond area, call my office for a consultation or checkup. I’m happy to accept new patients, and I love to meet new people.

Learn more about oral cancer at www.OralCancerFoundation.org.

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