Mouth sores – Prevention and Cure
Mouth sores are actually harmless but painful mouth ulcers that appear in the mouth. They are erosion of mucous membrane the lining inside the mouth. And usually fade away in 2 to 3 weeks on their own. They make brushing the teeth, and eating or drinking make difficult and painful. Some sores develop tingling and burning sensations around them. Many people experience loss of appetite when mouth sores develop.
Mouth sores are round or oval in shape which appears in the mouth, on the tongue cheeks or lips. They can be whitish grey or red and yellow in color in certain cases there are more than one ulcer at a time, and they may spread and grow.
Cold sores which develop around the moth and at the end of the lips are blisters are not the same as mouth sores. They are different from mouth sores.
Although mouth sores are painful and seem like a discomfort, they are safe to treat at home. You have to see your dentist or your general practitioner if the mouth sore persists even after 3 weeks and occur frequently. Sometimes, mouth sores turn into bacterial infection in which case you need to see the doctor who may prescribe antibiotics. In young children mouth ulcers may be a symptom of hand, foot and mouth disease. You must call your doctor in this case.
When a mouth sore does not get cured for a long time, then it may be a sign of mouth cancer. Mouth cancers appear under the tongue and but can appear anywhere in the mouth.
You can use soft brush and mild toothpaste when you have mouth ulcers. There are some chemical pastes available over the counter to help reduce swelling and reduce discomfort.
Causes of mouth sores
There no clear reasons for why we develop mouth sores. But usually single mouth sore occurs because of damage to the inner lining in the mouth.
The lining in the mouth gets hurt when you
- Accidentally bite the inside cheek, or having very hot food burning the inside of the mouth.
- Injury through a sharp tooth ending poking into the cheek.
- You wear dentures that are not fitting snugly on your teeth.
- You chew on very hard food.
- When the work done on your cavities in tooth is defective and the filling is protruding.
Stress and anxiety are also considered one of the causes for frequency of mouth sores.
Sometimes foods that have allergic reactions in some people may bring on mouth sores. Foods like chocolate, spice, almonds, peanuts, tomatoes and wheat flour are known to cause allergies in some people.
Hormonal changes at strategic period also are responsible to bring on mouth sores. Like monthly period, at menopause, at the onset of adolescence, etc.
Sometimes using strong toothpastes also cause mouth sores. Sometimes withdrawing from smoking develops sores in the mouth.
Some families have a predisposition to develop mouth sores. It kind of runs in the family.
There are certain medical conditions that bring on mouth sores in some people. For example, when the immune system is not robust, then such people develop sores due to weak immunity.
Medical conditions that can cause frequent mouth sores
There are some common medical conditions that may trigger mouth sores if you’re susceptible to them.
This is a common infection seen mainly in children where mouth sores develop on the cheeks and gums accompanied by mild fever and flu like symptoms. Children get irritated when suffering with these, because eating and drinking becomes painful, and younger children drool a lot.
This condition is common around childhood and college years. Symptoms include swollen lymph glands, fatigue, headache, fever, sore throat, night sweats, and body aches and last for several weeks.
Other types of common mouth sores:
These are small and painful red or white and yellow sores that appear inside the mouth. They wane in two to three weeks on their own. If they persist or recur frequently then it could be a sign of some other underlying disease.
These sores are common among infants and children, which is due to yeast infection that develops inside the mouth, inner cheeks, gums, tongue and even tonsils. Adults with weak immune system also develop these. The children lose interest in food as they are painful bumps and make swallowing difficult.
Hand foot and mouth disease
These sores affect children under 5 years of age. It is visible as red tiny but raised dots in the mouth, on the tongue and gums. They are painful and make the child irritable.
These are sores found among smokers. These sores appear as hard and raised patches on the tongue, which are harmless and fade away in two weeks.
Treatment of mouth sores
Mouth sores usually go away in a week or two. To relieve pain you can use home remedies which may help to speed up recovery and ease the pain. A solution of hydrogen peroxide mixed with one part water is good for relieving pain and easing discomfort.
Prevention of mouth sores
In most cases the reasons that cause mouth sores are not under our control, like heredity or weakened immunity. But still there are a few things you can do to prevent mouth sore to occur.
- Avoid foods that cause allergic reactions in your body.
- Have lots of water and keep your body hydrated
- Reduce irritation in the mouth
- Avoid very hot or very cold foods.
- Avoid using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulphate.
- Keep alcohol consumption to a safe limit, so that it does not become a habit.
- Use shades to protect your lips while in the sun
- Avoid using tobacco in any form either chewing tobacco or smoking.
- Visit your dentist if any hardware put in your mouth is irritating your inner tissues in the mouth.
Stress is also one of the major factors that can bring about mouth sores. Anxiety and stress are usually not fully controllable, but if one tries to avoid highly stress inducing situations, it will help in prevention and treatment of mouth sores.
Categorised in: Oral Health
This post was written by Letooth