Dentistry/White sore


For the past two weeks I have noticed this white and red sore in the inside of my cheek near my upper gum. I at first thought it was a canker sore bc it was very sore. It is still somewhat painful but it's starting to bother me that is not going away. I made an appt with my dentist next Monday which if the white area is still there it will be over three weeks. Can you tell me if it looks like anything concerning like oral cancer? Is this just a canker sore that won't go away? Thanks.

You can see the area in the dental mirror and avocet he mirror

The white area taken a few days ago

ANSWER: Kim - I cannot be completely sure from the pictures, but that area of whiteness is close to an opening of a duct from a gland that produces saliva.  This could be inflamed and the opening could be blocked.  My suggestion until you see your dentist, begin warm salt water rinses for a couple of minutes, 4-5 times a day in that area.

So see your dentist to fully evaluate it.  If he is not sure, have him refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for answering. Are you talking about the paroid gland? This area is not on that glad it's farther back. Could it still be an inflammed gland? The pain is pretty much gone but the white is still visible. Do you feel there is anything here I should be worried about? Could this just be normal discoloration? The area is not raised the tissue is just white. Do you think a biopsy would be nessecary? I have been rinsing my mouth out for over a week with no change. Should
I be worried about this area if it remains unchanged?

Kim - I don't see in your picture the duct opening.  If that duct opening is forward of the white spot, then the white spot is a local area of irritation. It does not look bad, but it might be a good idea to have a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon directly examine you.  The feeling of the area by the doctor can also help make a diagnosis.  So for that reason make an appointment with a board certified surgeon to evaluate you.  I wish you well and hope they can diagnose the area soon.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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