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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Is irritation around the mouth ulcer a symptom of lip cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 4154 Questions

Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I had minor mouth ulcers inside of my lower lips along with some irritation and redness around inferior labial frenulum.I did not have any other symptoms such as lumb, problem in eating or talking or swelling, my lymph nodes are normal. I went to the dentist , they did a detail check up along with x-ray and deep cleaning, nothing serious has been found. Then I went to my PCP and he prescribed me some dental paste. Upon applying that the ulcers disappeared. But the irritation and redness around inferior labial frenulum inside my lower lips has appeared again after a week since the ulcer disappeared. I am constantly taking multivitamin and multimineral supplement for last couple of weeks. I was a regular but not heavy smoker for 8 years and I have quit smoking in 2013 December. I have attached a picture of the lips. I am really worried about oral or lip cancer or something serious like that, since I was a smoker in past. Please help me out. Thanks
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Irritation not from cancer,see below...

Detailed Answer:

I have gone through your medical history carefully and the photo you provided.

I noted the irritated mucosa under your lower lip. That could be due to:
- i noted dental caries, most probably due to smoking
- you might have the habit to bite your lower lips
- as the mucosa us irritated, when you bite something hard like apples or pears, etc, the irritation would get worse. Try to avoid hard good in order to stop further irritation
- get an oral swab culture to rule out fungal infection and treat it adequately.

I do not notice anything else like cancer you fear. Just continue with good oral hygiene and avoid biting hard foods.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other question.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 41 minutes later
Thanks very much.

Here are my questions :

1. What kind of home remedies are available for these , AND I do have a habit of biting my lips especially when I am stressed.

2. Do you think I should go to some dermatologist or any dentist further to check out any kind of diagnosis for cancer just to make myself clear.

3. What is dental caries ? I am not smoking for last few years.

4. Also what are the symptoms of fungal infection ? What causes them ?

5. Can it be because of using alcoholic mouthwash?

Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following answers to your questions

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

Please find the answers to your questions as following:
1. With regards to home remedies, they include:
- avoid using mouth rinses/washer (including those alcoholic)
- brush your teeth thrice daily
- apply honey mixed with little bit soda locally (keep in your mouth as longer as you can)
- avoid citrus, or acidic foods/drinks
- try to avoid biting your lips when stressed

2. For the moment, if you were my patient, I'd recommend to follow the above advice first, then, if no improvement, oral oncologist should get consulted and biopsy to run. But, once again, not now.

3. Dental caries is when your teeth get a coating which is not normal. Yours have the typical yellowish coating due to smoking for years. When you eat, the food remain there, making the coating thicker, which sometimes lead to inflammation of gingiva (soft tissue around the teeth and oral mucosa).

Brushing the teeth regularly will help avoid caries and its inflammatory processes of the oral mucosa.

4. Fungi/Candida are part of normal flora of the oral mucosa and overall the GI tract.
Sometimes, for some reason, their balance is broken, and they will flourish causing fungal/Candida infection of oral cavity.

A culture of oral swab will confirm/rule it out.
If confirmed, anti fungal treatment is then recommended.

5. As mentioned in the first answer, for the moment, I advise not to use mouthwash including those alcoholic.

Hope it answered all your questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 16 hours later
Thank you very much Doctor for your clear explanation.

So it seems it was because of the new sensodyne toothpaste which I have started using few days before the ulcer first appeared. It has sodium lauryl sulphate I guess in a amount that causing this problem for me. I stopped using it from Saturday and the redness and the irritation is gone. I still have bit of dryness though inside of the lower lips, not sure what causing the dryness. It feels like XXXXXXX just like feeling after drinking very strong black coffee.

I am still seeing dentist in this week cause I am worried about the dryness.

What could possibly be the cause of this dryness?

Can it be because of bacterial imbalance since I had gingivitis?

I went to my PCP today he checked and said there is no reason to be worried about cancer or such thing.

Or can it be sign of any serious problem ?

Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Not a sign of serious illness...need to restore normal floral balance

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

I am glad to hear the irritation has disappeared.

The dryness is following irritation, that's normal until the inflammation will be totally cleared and the balance will be restored again.

Don't worry about that. It's not a sign of cancer nor of any other serious condition.

I admit you should work with dentist for the caries issues and how to restore the floral balance of mouth.

I'd suggest to add some probiotics on daily basis for at least 10 days in order to stabilize oral and overall GI flora.

Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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