Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 14:22 WIB

Mouth ulcers won’t heal in two weeks? Beware of oral cancer

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Jakarta, IO – Enough vitamin C, but often susceptible to mouth ulcers? Be careful – we need to be wary of mouth ulcers that fail to heal within three weeks, because that could be a symptom of “mouth cancer”, also known as “oral squamous cell carcinoma”. In a live IG with the theme “Mouth Ulcer Won’t Heal, Beware of Mouth Cancer” which was held on Tuesday (13/2/2024), dr. I Gusti Ngurah Gunawan Wibisana, Sp.B(K)-Onk explained that mouth ulcers will normally heal in less than two weeks. 

“A mouth ulcer represents the loss or erosion of the soft tissue lining the mouth (mucous membrane). In most cases, mouth ulcers are not dangerous and heal on their own in 10 to 14 days, without requiring treatment,” said the oncology consultant surgeon from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (FKUI) who practices at RSUPN dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Jakarta. 

He added that mouth ulcers usually appear on the tongue or other areas in the oral cavity, but generally heal in less than three weeks. “However, once the mouth ulcer doesn’t heal within three weeks, we should start to suspect that this might be something more serious than just ordinary canker sores: it could be a sign of oral cavity cancer,” he said. 

Repeated Trauma 

Mouth cancer can occur because parts of the oral cavity or tongue are bitten and abraded, due to uneven tooth alignment. “The most common cause is injury, such as accidentally biting the inside of the cheek. The tongue is bitten and wounds occur due to the alignment of the teeth, resulting in repeated trauma. However, the greatest risk factors for mouth cancer are smoking tobacco, chewing betel, and excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks.” 

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Avoiding habits that increase the risk of mouth cancer and carrying out regular oral examinations every month can help prevent the disease from appearing. “Be periodically check the condition of the oral cavity, whether there are, for example, wounds that don’t heal and then develop became mouth ulcers,” he warned. 

We should be suspicious if the mouth ulcer won’t heal within two weeks, or if you suffer them frequently. “See your dentist or doctor immediately. It’s important not to ignore an ulcer you’ve had for more than two weeks, especially if you use tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — and/or drink alcohol regularly. This is because tobacco use and drinking alcohol (both individually and together) increase the risk of oral cancer.” (est)

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