Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll likely start by seeing your primary doctor or dentist. Depending on your symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist), a specialist in gum and dental diseases (periodontist), a specialist of the upper gastrointestinal tract (gastroenterologist), or a doctor specializing in women's health (gynecologist).

What you can do

To get ready for your appointment:

  • Bring a copy of all previous consultations and tests you've had about this problem.
  • Ask if there's anything you need to do before the appointment, such as restrict your diet.
  • Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to your sore mouth.
  • Make a list of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements that you're taking.
  • Prepare questions ahead of time to help make the most of your time with your doctor or dentist.
  • Take a family member or friend with you, if possible, for support and to help you remember everything.

Some basic questions to ask your doctor or dentist include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask questions anytime you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor or dentist is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them so you can focus on points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor or dentist may ask:

  • When did the lesions or sores appear in your mouth?
  • Have you found lesions anywhere else on your body?
  • Do you feel any pain, burning sensations or other discomfort in your mouth?
  • How would you describe the severity of the pain or discomfort — mild, moderate or severe?
  • Have you recently started new medications?
  • Have you recently had vaccinations?
  • Do you take supplements or vitamins or other nonprescription herbs or medicines?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Have you experienced any new or unusual stresses in your life?
  • What other health conditions do you have?
March 08, 2013