Q. Are the painful sores in my mouth due to periodontitis, or are they canker sores?

Answered by
Dr. Bharat Joshi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 08, 2021 and last reviewed on: Aug 11, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have multiple painful sores in my mouth that appeared two days ago. One being large, what I think to be a canker sore (kind of grey flesh with a bunch of swollen gum below it), one small sore (that is just two little dots in my mouth), and the other I have not looked at. I have had poor oral hygiene for the past months. I am just wondering if it is most likely gum disease like periodontitis or what it could be?



Welcome to

Please be calm. They can be ANUG (acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis), lichen planus, canker sores (the grey color is descriptive of necrosis), or noma. So I suggest you please share pictures for confirmation of diagnosis. I would also suggest you do a biopsy or FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology). I hope this was helpful.

Hello doctor,

Thank you.

There are two sores. One is the bigger one (it looks like a cut almost on my gums), and the other is some small white dots. There is another sore that is smaller than both of these on my upper left molar, but I cannot get an image of it. Pain is there around for two days. And the color may be more white than grey. It is hard for me to tell. Although they are very painful and it is hard to eat. If something touches the big one, it causes really bad pain, and if something touches the small white dot ones, it hurts but is bearable. I have attached the pictures for your reference. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome back to

I have seen two pictures (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). one is a traumatic ulcer below the premolar. In contrast, the other is a recurrent aphthous ulcer. Please apply Dologel (Choline Salicylate and Lidocaine) or Orajel (Benzocaine) thrice a day over the painful and bigger traumatic ulcer. Take Multivitamin (that contains Lycopene and Folic acid). You can take analgesic like Voveran-SR (Diclofenac) 100 mg if pain is unbearable. Please do not use any mouthwash as it can irritate the mucosa. Avoid eating hot and spicy food. Have fruits like papaya and musk melon. Please follow the steps and get back if you have further queries.

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