Difficult-To-Diagnose Condition May Present As Treatment-Resistant Mouth Sores

In an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer (2/7), Dr. Eric T. Stoopler, an associate professor of oral medicine, discussed a 55-year-old man who sought help at an oral health clinic after suffering from mouth sores, skin lesions, and difficulty breathing. The man “died of respiratory failure about a year after he first noticed the mouth sores.” Before his death, “immunological blood tests suggested the patient’s mouth sores and skin lesions were actually symptoms of an condition called paraneoplastic pemphigus, usually caused by an underlying cancer,” and a biopsy revealed lymphoma. Dr. Stoopler said that “this patient’s case underscores the importance of regular dental exams and prompt evaluation of oral sores that don’t heal quickly on their own,” adding that “these lesions may be the first signs of a possibly life-threatening condition.”

Visit MouthHealthy.org for additional information on mouth sores.