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mouth sores

Causes, treatment, and prevention of mouth sores

Mouth sores a common illness. They are minor irritations or ailments that affect many people from time to time. These sores are generally painful and they can appear on any spot inside your mouth, which includes gums, tongue, cheeks, roof and floor of your mouth and also lips. Some people develop sores on the tube leading from the mouth stomach.

Most of the time mouth sores bring about redness and pain in the mouth, especially while eating and drinking, and set off burning and tingling sensation around the sore. The bigger the sore the more difficult it will be for consuming food.

Causes of developing mouth sores

There are many factors that trigger mouth sores, which range from small everyday occurrence to serious illnesses. Usually you may get sores in the mouth: if you bite your lip or cheek or tongue over and over again, burn your mouth while eating very hot food, start wearing new braces which may irritate your inner mouth somewhere, use a hard toothbrush or brush too much, chew tobacco, or have herpes simplex virus.

The following are some commonly found sores among people:

  1. Cold sores

These sores are caused by cold which appear red, and filled with fluid. They appear on corners of lips and tingle or burn before the sore is visible. These sores are usually accompanied by low fever, body pain, and swollen lymph nodes. Herpes Simplex; a common virus causes cold sores. They are contagious and may spread by kissing, or sharing cosmetics. There is no sure treatment but oral antibiotics may help. Lip balm containing lemon extract may help too.

  1. Canker sores

The canker sore or aphtouse ulcer is a painful and very common  mouth sore, appearing inside lips and cheeks. They are usually oval shaped yellow or white ulcers surrounded by red border. It gives a tingling sensation in the mouth. It may be accompanied by mild fever and swollen lymph nodes making you feel unwell. It will heal in a week or two without treatment but you can use anti microbial mouthwash to lessen the pain. Some dentists may prescribe an antibiotic tablet or a painkiller. Applying ice or eating ice cream may relieve pain for some time. The causes are not known for sure but it is believed that stress of hormonal changes during menstruation may cause canker sores.

  1. Gingivomatitis

It is a common infection of the mouth and gums often found in children. Gingivomatitis makes tender sores on the inside of the cheeks and gums, they look gray or yellow on the border with red centre. I may cause mild fever or flu. It causes drooling and pain while eating, in young children. To relieve symptoms you can rinse your mouth with medicated solution or salt water Eat non-spicy foods. Keeping good dental hygiene is important. Brush your teeth with a soft brush.

  1. Oral Thrush

This is an infection that develops in the mouth and tongue. It is common in children and infants too, but happens to adults also. It is characterised by cream or white bumps on the gums, tongue, inner cheeks or even tonsils that can be scraped off. They are painful and create difficulty in swallowing. Sometimes the skin at the corner of mouth become dry and scaly. It is caused by yeast infection.

C.albicans are bacteria which reside in your mouth in small numbers without harming because its numbers are kept in check with beneficial bacteria in the mouth. When the immune system is compromised for whatever reasons, this bacteria grow in numbers causing oral thrush. When a person takes antibiotics for other medical conditions, it affects growth of friendly bacteria that is reduced because of the drug causing C.albicans number to rise.

The dentist may consult your physician for prescription of medicine for oral thrush.

  1. Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia is characterised by thick patches on the tongue and the lining of the mouth which are white, hard, and raised, and have a hairy appearance. It usually occurs in smokers but is harmless. It lasts for a week or two and goes away without treatment. It is advised that proper dental care routine is followed throughout.

The exact cause of the disease is not known but it is basically linked with smoking as it occurs with smokers more often. Chewing tobacco also causes Leukoplakia. There are other factors that may cause Leukoplakia, including injury to the inside cheek, biting the same place repeatedly in the inner cheek or lips, rough and uneven teeth, some inflammation in the body and alcoholism.

The condition goes away on its own, but during the illness, the regular dental care routine is a must. It is best to avoid the trigger that has brought it on. If the condition is because of the dental irritation, than talk to your dentist. Oral cancer is sometimes related to Leukoplakia and has to be referred to the physician. Hairy Leukoplakia is not oral cancer. Anti viral medicine should take care of it.

  1. Oral Lichen Planus

This is an itchy skin rash disorder, which affects cheeks, gums lips and tongue. The mucous membrane of the mouth are affected by this disorder, in which the patient has inflamed tissues, white patches and open red sores. The open sores sometimes bleed and are very painful.

There is no consensus on the causes of this disorder but there are triggers that bring it on. A person who has auto immune disease is likely to get this often. An injury in the mouth or having an oral infection can also be a trigger for the same. Some people have food allergies, or some new dental appliance allergies, which can trigger it. Certain medication also can bring it on.

Oral lichen planus sometimes scar the affected areas. It is a painful condition and it pains while eating or drinking which leads to weight loss. Being a chronic condition, this disorder can be managed, but cannot be cured. The treatment will involve minimizing the lesions and resolving symptoms. Corticosteroids in the form of mouthwash or gel are prescribed by the professionals. A few lifestyle changes will also help, which include: eating well and consuming diet full of nutrients, and protein, do exercises, reduce stress and use mild toothpaste.

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