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Recurring Canker Sores
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Recurring Canker Sores

I've had recurring canker sores all my life. Are these a symptom of oral cancer? I don't drink. I don't smoke. I brush 2x a day and try to floss once a day. I do have some issues with my teeth- I need a few fillings and a crown but am out of work and just don't have the money to get them taken care of at the moment. I am slightly B12 and Vitamin D deficient. But there is no bleeding no voice changing, no lumps or bumps on the tongue, gum, or roof of the mouth. I do get quite a few sinus and ear infections- I was at the doctor yesterday for a sinus infection and she looked in my mouth- didn't say anything. I had a partially errupted wisdom tooth pulled back in May '10 and the dentist didn't say anything was abnormal. I'm trying to get some money saved to get my teeth taken care of. But with me not being a smoker, dipper, or drinker- and only having recurring canker sores. Should I be worried about oral cancer?
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540545_tn?1377626518
How often are these recurring canker sores?  Is it usually just one at a time or can there be multiple ones too?
7 Comments
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I'd say maybe 3-5 a year closer to 3 the last couple years- I've never had multiple ones. Anytime I have one- and I've had them since I was a kid(I'm 30/m)- they always go away in about 10-14 days. I am currently fighting a sinus infection- and I do have fibromyalgia. I had a CT of my Sinuses about 2 years ago and a Panoramic X-Ray of my teeth about 18 months ago. Like I said in my previous post I've never smoked, dipped, and I've had maybe 3 alcoholic drinks in my life- no bleeding, no noticable lumps on the tongue, gums, or cheeks, no problems swallowing, or chewing. My dad passed away at 43 from leukemia and I'll admit I can be a bit of a worrier.
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Avatar_n_tn
I definately am trying my best to get my teeth taken care of but the money thing is difficult plus I've had trust issues with dentists- I had a dentist scream at me when I was 6 and getting a root canal and the last few years I've had dentists do poor work and not act like they care- the last dentist I went to who told me I needed the fillings, when he found out I didn't have a job, he acted like he didn't care and wouldn't answer any questions. I understand he needs to make a living too but it just really rubbed me the wrong way. My wife makes too much money for us to go to free clinics yet we don't make enough to afford the dentist or dental insurance. I've had 3 extractions and really don't want anymore. I really appreciate any answers or advice you can give. Thanks!!
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540545_tn?1377626518
You may want to contact your local dental society or the local dental school to get it checked out and find some lower cost dental treatment options.  Canker sores/cold sores don't worry me in regards to increased cancer risk at this point.  I would worry more about your immune system if you had frequent cold sores such as once a month or multiple ones at a time.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much for the answers! I was thinking of contancing Ohio State to see if I could work out something at there dental school since they have a great reputation. Because of the fibromyalgia and being Vitamin D deficient, I have to take various vitamin supplements to keep my immune system as strong as possible. Thanks again for the prompt answer- I really appreciate it!
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Avatar_n_tn
I should point out I have one right now that I've had for almost a week. It hasn't hurt as bad as ones in past times- it only hurt for a few days- it's still there and doesn't hurt that much anymore- any cause for concern? Thanks!
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540545_tn?1377626518
Probably not a cause of concern at this moment.  If it gets more frequent or lasts longer or there are multiple ones, I would suggest going to your MD.
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