Oral Cancer Vs. Canker Sore: Know the Key Differences

Oral cancer can be a devastating diagnosis. While this form of cancer has several different symptoms, one of the most common is a mouth sore that does not heal. If you deal with frequent canker sores, then this might make you nervous. Are your canker sores just a mild annoyance- or potentially something more? Below, we’ll explain the difference between oral cancer vs. canker sore lesions.

Oral Cancer Vs. Canker Sore

It can be confusing to compare oral cancer vs. canker sore spots because the two have some similarities. Both can form on the soft surfaces of the mouth and tend to be white and/or red in appearance. However, canker sores are usually round, raised bumps that can cause mouth irritation or discomfort. On the other hand, oral cancer spots can be irregularly-shaped and usually do not cause oral pain. Another key difference is that canker sores usually heal within a week or so, whereas oral cancer sores will not heal.

Other Oral Cancer Symptoms

While canker sores can be annoying (even downright painful!), they don’t usually cause other symptoms. Oral cancer, however, can present with symptoms beyond the trademark mouth sore. Other symptoms can include loose teeth, difficulty swallowing, or pain/swelling affecting the overall mouth, ear, or lymph nodes.

When to See a Dentist

If you have any symptoms of oral cancer, then it’s important to see a dentist ASAP. Early treatment is the key to beating this disease. Plus, oral cancer screenings are quick and easy, which means you can get clarity on your disease ASAP.

Patients who are dealing with chronic canker sores should also see their dentist. Even if it’s not oral cancer, there are a variety of other issues that could cause these sores. A short dental exam can help you treat the issue and live pain-free.

Book Your Oral Cancer Screening Today

Rock Creek Oral Surgery offers fast, convenient, and thorough oral cancer screenings in our Cypress office. These screenings are the most accurate way to assess your mouth sore and determine if you have a more serious problem. Don’t wait to get your symptoms checked. Take charge of your health by contacting us today.


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