12 doctors weighed in:

How do I know if I have gum disease or some viral sores or canker sore flare-up?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Need exam please

Get examined please.
Canker sores are common aphthous ulcers of mouth that occur situationally, often in response to stressors, are bacterial or viral, & can be treated topically with many otc products that reduce local discomfort & potentially speed healing. However, oral/dental problems & a number of systemic diseases cause canker sore-like lesions--crohn's, behcet's, std (sexually transmitted).

In brief: Need exam please

Get examined please.
Canker sores are common aphthous ulcers of mouth that occur situationally, often in response to stressors, are bacterial or viral, & can be treated topically with many otc products that reduce local discomfort & potentially speed healing. However, oral/dental problems & a number of systemic diseases cause canker sore-like lesions--crohn's, behcet's, std (sexually transmitted).
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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1 comment
Dr. Gary Lederman
I would add that painless laser treatments can relieve the pain from oral ulcers immediately , another reason to see a dentist! I agree that the most important thing to do is get a proper diagnosis.
Dr. Nancy Appelblatt
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Could be either, but

Gum disease is usually around your teeth, with retraction pockets, and normally your dentist or hygenist would mention it.
Also is not normally as painful. Canker sore lesions are ulcers , and can be biopsied, or scraped with a special test done, but hurt like heck.See above for why and quick tx.

In brief: Could be either, but

Gum disease is usually around your teeth, with retraction pockets, and normally your dentist or hygenist would mention it.
Also is not normally as painful. Canker sore lesions are ulcers , and can be biopsied, or scraped with a special test done, but hurt like heck.See above for why and quick tx.
Dr. Nancy Appelblatt
Dr. Nancy Appelblatt
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Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: See DDS\DMD

They all have different clinical signs, symptoms and appearances.
It's easy for your dentist to determine what you have, so please schedule a visit to find out what you have and what needs to be done if anything. Self diagnosis, even with extensive internet research and guidance is never a good idea.

In brief: See DDS\DMD

They all have different clinical signs, symptoms and appearances.
It's easy for your dentist to determine what you have, so please schedule a visit to find out what you have and what needs to be done if anything. Self diagnosis, even with extensive internet research and guidance is never a good idea.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dr. Gary Sandler
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Dr. Ragan Faler
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Pain and location

Generally gum disease is not painful.
Canker sores are ulcers that most commonly appear on the loose tissues on the inside of the lips, tongue, and back of the throat. Cold sores are viral "ulcer-like" blistering lesions that are painful, and will occur on the outside of the lip, inside of nose, roof of mouth and sometimes the hard gum (keratinized gingiva) on the inside of the mouth.

In brief: Pain and location

Generally gum disease is not painful.
Canker sores are ulcers that most commonly appear on the loose tissues on the inside of the lips, tongue, and back of the throat. Cold sores are viral "ulcer-like" blistering lesions that are painful, and will occur on the outside of the lip, inside of nose, roof of mouth and sometimes the hard gum (keratinized gingiva) on the inside of the mouth.
Dr. Ragan Faler
Dr. Ragan Faler
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Dr. Duane Keller
Dentistry

In brief: ?Bleeding gums?

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss you probably have gum disease.
Check with you dentist and see what they recommend. We use the perio protect method and it gets wonderful results.

In brief: ?Bleeding gums?

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss you probably have gum disease.
Check with you dentist and see what they recommend. We use the perio protect method and it gets wonderful results.
Dr. Duane Keller
Dr. Duane Keller
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In brief: See a dentist

You need to have an examination to check you gums, bone support around the teeth and the teeth.
If there is a question, sometimes a biopsy or culture will be run.

In brief: See a dentist

You need to have an examination to check you gums, bone support around the teeth and the teeth.
If there is a question, sometimes a biopsy or culture will be run.
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
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Dr. SCOTT HARWOOD
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial

In brief: Time

The best way is to see your dentist and have it evaluated properly.
In general, however, a cold sore will resolve in 7-10 days whereas gum disease is not going to resolve on its own.

In brief: Time

The best way is to see your dentist and have it evaluated properly.
In general, however, a cold sore will resolve in 7-10 days whereas gum disease is not going to resolve on its own.
Dr. SCOTT HARWOOD
Dr. SCOTT HARWOOD
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