It is evaluated that at least half of the entire American population suffers from a canker sore once in their lifetime. People often confuse between cancer and this oral issue. We understand that having a change in your mouth is scary, but you need to learn more about canker sore vs oral cancer.

You should have the knowledge regarding that mark on your mouth and the reason for its appearance. Since it is difficult to determine whether your oral condition is harmless or not, it’s essential that you get it examined.

Canker sore may appear on your tonsils, at the back of your throat – uvula or even the tongue. Many people get confused when they see ulcer type growth, is it canker sore or mouth cancer. This blog will serve as your guide; we have detailed “canker sore vs cancer” so you may identify the ongoing issue in your mouth.

What are Canker Sores?

A minor canker sore is a tiny, round-shaped ulcer that appears mostly inside the lips, cheeks, tongue, back of the throat – uvula, or gum base. Usually, minor small sized ulcers go away on their own in around 1 to 2 weeks. However, you may still suffer from a larger canker sore that doesn’t heal quickly and stays for a couple of months.

Minor sores are relatively harmless and cause slight discomfort and pain. As Mayo Clinic research proposes, various triggers can cause canker sores; that includes hormonal changes, stress factors, toothpaste, and food allergies.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer vs a canker sore grows anywhere in your oral cavity; research concludes that people who consume tobacco or drink alcohol are more susceptible to mouth cancer. Oral cancer usually affects the tongue, throat, lips, or cheeks.

It often shows up as flat, red, brown, or white patches inside your mouth. These spots are basically cancer cells. It is said that the canker sore that doesn’t heal gradually can indicate mouth cancer. So you should let your dentist check persistent signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.

Cancer vs Canker Sore

Oral cancer and canker sore are two different conditions, and they differ in the following ways:

  • Canker sore often heals itself in a span of 7-14 days, whereas oral cancer does not fall within the same timeframe.
  • Usually, oral cancer is often painless; on the other hand, a canker sore causes mild to moderate discomfort.
  • Canker sores have a flat, white, or yellow center that turns gray when they start healing. On the contrary, oral cancer appears as raised or sometimes flat patches and are often white, brown, or red.
  • Canker sores cause pain when you consume acidic drinks. However, this discomfort doesn’t cause speaking, chewing, or swallowing problems as oral cancer does.
  • Oral Cancer Screening is very important in identifying “Oral Cancer Vs Canker Sore.”


Mouth cancers are highly prevalent in the US. Luckily, the high survival rate is quite high, 85 to 90 percent. However, early diagnosis is the key. Therefore, if you ever notice any slight change, such as a canker sore growth or lesion that doesn’t go away within a few days, get in touch with dentists at Vesna Arizena DDS, call 281 469 7469 to schedule an appointment. Our experts will evaluate your condition and perform oral cancer screenings if needed.

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