Blood on my Pillow from my Lip

I recently had a dental cleaning and the hygienist commented about a sore in the front of my mouth behind my lower lip.  I told her I had been waking up in the morning with blood on my pillow and it was from that sore but I thought that I just bit my lip during the night.  She measured it and took a picture which has me concerned.  She referred me to an oral surgeon but I haven’t gone yet.  It has been a week and it is not getting better.  What do you think?

Thanks, Frank

Dear Frank,

Run….do not walk…run to your oral surgeon and have it checked out!   You did not say whether you are or have been a smoker but just know that oral cancer is very ugly and the sooner that you rule it out the better.  Over 36,000 people will get oral cancer or oropharyngeal cancer in 2013 and of these 6,850 people will die.

These cancers are found twice as often in men than in women.  You could have a squamous cell carcinoma which can invade your lower lip, tongue and surrounding tissues.  It is aggressive and the treatment is drastic.  A quick look at some pictures of oral cancer on the internet will have you dialing your oral surgeons’ number.  Your hygienist was right to refer you.  Take her advice. It could be many other things and hopefully it is something minor but why take the chance?

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

 

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