Oral Surgery/Ulcer?


Good Evening Doc,

I have been dealing with a white ulcer on my left tonsil for 4 days. It has gotten bigger in size and now I have a bit of a headache from it. I put Salt on it, which made it bleed alittle bit, and I gargle salt water 3 times a day. I also had a ulcer under my tongue, but not as big. I noticed these ulcer after brushing my teeth. I heard SLS in toothpaste could cause these. My question is, how long does this last, because the ulcer is painful when I swallow food. Also, how can I tell the difference between Ulcers and Cancer? I have no swollen glands, no fever(98.2) but a bit of a headache.  Thanks Doc!

Hello Scott,

There are substancial differences between benign ulcers and oral cancer. Ulcers are self healing and will disappear in matter of days. I would not use salt directly but would use oral rinses and gargles. Keeping a good hygien and avoid smoking for a few days should improve it substancially.If not, then it should be biopsed to have a  specific diagnosis allowing for optimal treatment.

Best regards


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Chawket MANNAI, DDS,Ph.D Diplomate ABOMS


I am a US board certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon trained at UCLA and Parkland Memorial Hospital (Dallas) with more than 25 years of experience and will provide answers to all questions pertaining to the Oral& Maxillofacial Surgery region including Orthognathic Surgery, Trauma,TMJ, Implantology, tumour surgery (excluding cancer and Oral Dermatology),reconstructive surgery...


Extensive in all fields for the past 25 years hospital and office based.

American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons American College of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

2006: Mannai Chawket Early implant loading in severely resorbed maxilla using xenograft, autograft, and platelet-rich plasma in 97 patients. Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 2006;64(9):1420-6. Bayonne, France. c.mannai@surgical.net 1998: Bell W H; Mannai C [An interview with Dr. W.H. Bell and Dr. C. Mannai. Interview by Colette Orival-Demange.] L' Orthodontie franšaise 1998;69(1):225-9. 1988: Abemayor E; Zemplenyi J; Mannai C; Webb D J; Canalis R F The fixation of malar fractures with the transnasal Kirschner wire. The Journal of otolaryngology 1988;17(4):179-82. Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance 90509. 1988: Wald R M; Abemayor E; Zemplenyi J; Mannai C; Lesavoy M A The transoral treatment of mandibular fractures using noncompression miniplates: a prospective study. Annals of plastic surgery 1988;20(5):409-13. Division of Plastic Surgery, Harbor/UCLA Medical Center. 1988: Di S; Bell W H; Mannai C; Seale N S; Hurt W C; Taylor J; Waite D E Long-term evaluation of human teeth after Le Fort I osteotomy: a histologic and developmental study. Oral surgery, oral medicine, and oral pathology 1988;65(4):379-86. Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas. 1988: Bell W H; Mannai C; Luhr H G Art and science of the Le Fort I down fracture. The International journal of adult orthodontics and orthognathic surgery 1988;3(1):23-52. 1986: Mannai C; Schwartz H C Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma presenting as a facial swelling. A case report. Journal of maxillofacial surgery 1986;14(6):329-31. 1986: Mannai C; Leake D; Pizzoferrato A; Ciapetti G; Sangiorgi C Histologic evaluation of purified bovine tendon collagen sponge in tooth extraction sites in dogs. Oral surgery, oral medicine, and oral pathology 1986;61(4):315-23.

DDS,Ph.D Fellow and Diplomate American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency training:Harbor-UCLA MedicalCenter 1982-1985 Fellow OMFS Parkland Memorial Hospital Dallas Texas with William H.BELL

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