Long-Lasting Mouth Sores

What Causes Mouth Sores?

Mouth sores can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose mouth sores, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "mouth sores" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Increased Folic Acid Need
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Melanoma
  • Lichen Planus
  • Leukoplakia
  • Syphilis
  • Candida / Yeast

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
macrocytic red cells
history of vaginal yeast infection
excessive flatulence
cigarette smoke sensitivity
dark lines under nails
dry mouth
poor tolerance of sugars
black/brown fingernails
sinusitis
syphilis
many irregular dark moles
vaginal yeast infection
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of mouth sores:
Cause Probability Status
Syphilis 95% Confirm
Sjogren's Syndrome 13% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 13% Unlikely
Lichen Planus 4% Ruled out
Melanoma 4% Ruled out
Candida / Yeast 2% Ruled out
Increased Folic Acid Need 1% Ruled out
Leukoplakia 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate mouth problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you had any ulcers, sores, or red or white patches inside your mouth lasting for more than three weeks? (Mouth Ulcers / Canker Sores generally heal within a couple of weeks.)
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Yes, but not now
→ Yes, barely noticeable AND lasting under 2 months
→ Yes, significant OR lasting over 2 months
→ Yes, significant AND lasting over 2 months
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate history of mouth sores, minor mouth sores, mouth sores or significant mouth sores, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Chemotherapy Side-Effects

Mouth sores during chemotherapy are one of the most common short term side-effects.

Oral Lichen Planus

About half of those who get lichen planus also develop mouth sores.

Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren's Syndrome can result in painful mouth sores due to a dry mouth and/or Candida infection.

STD Syphilis

Flat white sores can appear in the mouth and/or throat during the second stage of syphilis infection.

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