Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman shares explanations for recurring mouth sores and dental warning signs you should never ignore.
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Jamie: I bite my the tongue and the inside of my mouth a lot. The pain is unbearable. I get as lot of sores and sometimes it feels like they get infected. It makes it really hard for me to eat and drink certain things. Sometimes it hurts so bad just to brush my teeth and brushing my teeth even can make it bleed. It takes several days for the sores to heal and I have to be really careful not to eat anything too acidic until they get better. It doesn’t matter if I try to slow down and chew more carefully, I always manage to bite the inside of my mouth and I'm wondering if that could be a sign of something worst. Dr. Travis Stork: We've brought in our friend dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman to help answer Jamie's question. Dr. Bill Dorfman: Welcome to both of you. Dr. Travis Stork: Thank you. Dr. Bill Dorfman: So Jamie we have some pictures to show you. I want to have you identify what kind of sore you have. If you look up there on the screen, the first one is an abscess tooth, the middle one is called the mucosil, that's a little saliva gland that fills up with fluid and that's harmless. And then the last one is a cheek biting. Jamie: The last one. Dr. Bill Dorfman: The last one. Now, do you have any sores now? Jamie: I just bite my cheek yesterday and I've been biting it this morning. This one, it's inflamed, it's hard not to keep -- Dr. Bill Durfman: Let's see, open up your mouth? Well, here's the general rule with tongue. Any sore that isn't healed in two weeks, you need to have it looked at. So whether you bite yourself or it's a pizza burn or any of those things, if it goes away in two weeks you're fine. The real fear that it's an oral cancer if something persists in your mouth and its there for more than two weeks you got to get a biopsy. And what happens in a biopsy is we take a little bit of tissue and we're going to send that to the lab and analyze it and again make sure that's not oral cancer. I have some pictures to show you, if you look up there on the left that's called a traumatic fibroma. Now what happens is when you bite the inside of your mouth and you do it repeatedly it forms scar tissue and that forms kind of a little ball there. So what we’re going to do is biopsy that, you can see we're holding it with a forcep and then we bring a little laser in there and we just kind of biopsy it, we send it to the lab just to make sure that it's not cancer. Now, with the biopsy, what we're going to do, in the old days we use a scalpel and we cut that out, then we had this new lasers that came in this big boxes. This is the latest laser, it's called an NV MicroLaser and this little pen has as much powers as those huge boxes and we can go ahead and we can cut it. The cool thing about using a laser is there's no bleeding, it's going to cauterize the nerve endings at the same time so you won't have any pain and it will heal about two or three times faster. Dr. Travis Stork: So by then obviously if you have a growth and doesn't go away, that's a symptom you have to get checked up. But when it comes normal there are so many things that we may not pay attention to but symptoms we really should ignore. Dr. Bill Durfman: Yeah. Again, if it's there for two weeks you have to get it looked at and possibly biopsy.