What Are These Sores In My Mouth?

From time to time you may experience a sore in or around your mouth.

Most of these will resolve by themselves in 10-14 days but if they don’t go away on their own, your dentist is the professional to see for diagnosis and treatment. A dentist is qualified to evaluate all areas of oral health and this means that he/she looks at not only your teeth but at your lips, tongue, inner cheeks and palate.

Mouth sores appear for a variety of reasons. They can be:

  • symptoms of a disorder or disease
  • caused by irritation from the jagged edge of a filling or broken tooth
  • from a denture that does not fit properly
  • from an orthodontic wire
  • from an infection caused by fungus, viruses or bacteria

There are many types of mouth sores but the four most common  are:

  • Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungal infection also known as oral thrush or moniliasis and occurs when the yeast Candida-albicans multiplies in great amounts. Denture wearers regularly have this problem but it frequently arises in people with weak immune systems such as the elderly, the very young and those leukemia or diabetes. Additionally, individuals with dry-mouth syndrome are vulnerable to candidiasis. Candida can also follow antibiotic treatments which may reduce regular bacteria in the mouth. Tip-top oral hygiene is vital.

  • Canker Sores

Canker sores are small ulcers with a gray or white base and red perimeter that develop inside the mouth. Canker sores are not contagious but they can return often and may appear several at a time or alone. The exact cause of canker sores has not been discovered but specialists feel it has something to do with immune system difficulties, viruses or bacteria. Canker sores heal by themselves after a week or two. Stay clear of acidic, spicy or hot foods that will inflame the sore.

  • Leukoplakia

These are dense, pale colored patches that manifest inside the cheeks, tongue or gums and are caused by surplus cell growth. These sores are widespread amongst tobacco users. They can also be the result of ill-fitted dentures or from chewing on the inside of the cheek. Occasionally, leukoplakia is linked to oral cancer.

  • Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)

Clusters of blisters filled with fluid that usually breakout around the lips and at times beneath the nose or near the chin are known as cold sores. The herpes-simplex virus type-1 is the cause of cold sores. The first breakout, primary herpes, might be confused with a flu or cold and can erupt into excruciating sores all through the mouth. The virus remains in the body and causes infrequent attacks once an individual is infected with the virus or primary herpes. These types of cold sores are very contagious but normally heal by themselves within a week. Topical anesthetics from over-the-counter can be helpful. In addition, antiviral drugs to decrease these types of out-breaks can be prescribed by your dentist.

While you can ease the symptoms of mouth sores by avoiding hot and spicy foods and taking a pain reliever like acetaminophen, it’s important to see your dentist if the mouth sore lasts over 2 weeks, if it developed right after you started a new medication or if you have a weakened immune system or other symptoms like a fever or skin rash.

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