Mouth Sores is one of the most common oral alignments many people suffer from at some point. These appear in the soft tissues of the mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor, and roof of the mouth.
These can even develop in the esophagus which is the tube leading to the stomach.
This is a broad term that includes Canker Sores as well, usually a minor irritation and lasts for about a week or so.
Canker sores are also known as Aphthous Ulcers are one of the most common ulcerative conditions of oral mucosa and are often painful. However, they can appear in any part of your lifetime, either your childhood, adolescence but is more common in females than males.
However, it is important that it might be a sign and symptom of mouth cancer or an infection from a virus, like herpes simplex.
Most commonly, they represent canker sores, infections, or changes in the immune system of your body.
Certain medications can cause also Mouth sores. For instance, Trexall. Also, some vitamin deficiencies like Vitamin b12, acidic foods can also be the cause.
Causes of Mouth Sores
The common causes of Mouth sores can be a minor injury from a dental procedure, toothpaste or mouth rinses, food sensitivities, acidic foods, vitamin deficiency like vitamin B12, or deficiency of minerals in the body like inc, folate, or iron.
Several things can also lead to sores ranging from everyday causes to serious illness. A mouth sore may develop due to:
- biting your tongue
- burn your mouth
- Dental work like braces, retainers, or dentures or fitting dentures
- Brushing your teeth hardly
- chewing tobacco
- having herpes simplex virus
Moreover, bacteria in the mouth diseases, hand, and foot diseases, hormonal changes, and emotional stress, and weakened immune systems can cause Mouth Sores.
Medical Conditions Causing Mouth Sores
Certain medical conditions can also cause this problem. These are as follows:
Cold Score: These are red, fluid-filled blisters that might appear on your lips or mouth. It may be accompanied by flu, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
These are often known as fever blisters.
Anemia: Anemia can also cause mouth sores. Symptoms occur when there is a reduction in red blood cells in your body, or they are either damaged or impaired.
You might appear pale, with cold skin, pale gums. The symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, changes in blood pressure, etc.
Gingivitis: It is an infection of the mouth and gums. It also produces tender sores on the gums or insides of your cheeks and appears greyish or yellow on the outside and red in the center.
It can also cause flu and may even lead to drooling, and pain while eating.
Infectious Mononucleosis: The cause of this infection is EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) and mainly occurs in young adults.
The symptoms might include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, and body aches.
Canker Sores: Also known as Aphthous Stomatitis are small, painful, oval-shaped ulcers on the insides of your mouth.
These are usually harmless and heal on their own in a couple of weeks. However, recurrent canker sores can be a sign of certain other conditions like Celiac disease, Crohn’s Disease, etc.
Oral Thrush: This is a yeast infection that affects the insides of your mouth and tongue.
It is common in infants and children but it can also be a sign of a weak immune system. White bumps appear on the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, or tonsils that can be scraped off.
Complex Medical Conditions leading to Mouth Sores
Certain complex medical conditions can lead to mouth sores. These are as follows:
Leukoplakia: This can cause thick, white patches on your tongue and the linings of your mouth They may also pear raised, hard, or have a hairy appearance.
Thes are common is smkoers. Most often it is harmless however, a more serious case may be linked to oral cancer.
Oral Lichen Planus: This is an inflammatory disorder that affects the gums, lip,s cheeks, and tongue.
It appears as white, lacy, raised patches of tissue in the mouth and resembles spider webs. Open ulcers may bleed and cause pain while you brush or eat.
Celiac Disease: It is due to an abnormal immune system response to gluten that damages the lining of the small intestine in your body.
The cause of this disease is the damage to the villi of the small intestine due to poor absorption of dietary nutrients like Vitamin B, D, Iron, and Calcium. Common symptoms are diarrhea, weight loss, stomach pain, anemia, joint pain, fatty stool, and mouth sores.
Mouth Cancer: It affects the working of your mouth or oral cavity including lips, cheeks, teeth, gums, part of your tongue, and floor of your mouth.
Ulcers, white or red patches may appear inside your mouth or on the lips.
Pemphigus Vulgaris: This is a rare autoimmune disease and affects the skin and mucous membranes of your mouth, throat, nose, eyes, genitals, and lungs.
It appears as painful, itchy skin blisters that may break and bleed. However, blisters in the mouth and throat may cause pain and swelling.
Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Sores
Mouth sores can cause redness and pain, especially while you eat or drink. Moreover, they can also cause a burning or tingling sensation around the sore.
They can make eating, drinking, and swallowing difficult and depends on the severity, size, and location of the sores.
The sores may also develop into blisters. If you have any of the following signs and symptoms contact your dentist or medical advice as soon as possible:
- sores that are larger than hand an inch
- frequent outbreaks of mouth sores
- joint pain
These are round or oval and appear with a white or yellow center and a red border. They may form inside your mouth, or under your tongue, on your lips, or at the base of your tongue.
Diagnosis of Mouth Sores
In most cases, mouth sores tend to go away on their own and you do not need a health care provider to diagnose them.
However, if you see the following, you might want to seek medical advice or a dentist as soon as possible.
If you have white patches on your sores then this may be a sign of leukoplakia or oral lichen planus or you have or suspect that you may have herpes simplex or any other infection.
If you have sores that do not go away or get worse with the passage of time, you have started a cancer treatment or you recently had transplant surgery.
Treatment of Mouth Sores
A minor form of mouth sore tends to go away over a period of a week or so. In most severe cases, they may last for up to 6 weeks.
Some simple home remedies can help you reduce the pain ad speed up the healing process, You might want to:
Avoid hot or spicy, salty, citrus-based, acidic food, and high sugar food. Tobacco should also be avoided.
Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water at least twice a day, eat ie, ice pops, or other cold foods as they can reduce pain.
Take a pain medication like Tylenol and avoid squeezing or picking the sores or blisters.
Apply a thin paste of baking soda and water over the sores and blisters.
Moreover, you can gently dab hydrogen peroxide solution or you can ask your pharmacist about certain OTC medications or mouthwash to help.
Your dentist may prescribe certain pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroid gel. In case your mouth sores are a result of bacteria, virus, or fungal infection, they will provide a medication to treat the infection.
In case of mouth cancer, your doctor or dentist will recommend a biopsy to confirm. Afterward, you may need surgery or chemotherapy and it depends on the stage of cancer.
Can you Prevent Them?
You cannot prevent mouth sores however, you can take certain steps to avoid them.
In case your dentures, bridges, or braces are irritating, visit your dentist. Decrease stress, eat a balanced diet and eliminate food that causes irritation like hot and spicy food.
Make sure to take vitamins and supplements especially vitamin B. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Avoid smoking and shade your lips and mouth when in sun.
Long-term Effects of Mouth Sores
There are no such cases of long-term mouth sores, However, if you have Herpes Simplex, the sores may reappear.
In some cases, cold sores may leave scars. Outbreaks are common if you are under stress, ill, or have a weak immune system.
Moreover, extensive sun exposure and breaking the skin of your mouth can also cause mouth sores. However, they go away with time.
In case your doctor diagnoses you with cancer, the long-term effects and your outlook depends on the type, severity, stage, and treatment of your cancer.
In most cases, mouth sores tend to go away with a week or so. They can be mildly painful especially when you eat spicy food or drink hot drinks. In some cases, they can be bothersome and painful. There are many causes of mouth sores, the most common of which is irritation.
Mostly, they will heal on their own with little need for treatment. In other cases, a person may need to take medication to treat the underlying cause of the sores. If a person has frequent or long-lasting sores or the pain is severe, it is best to speak to a doctor as it can be due to a severe and underlying medication condition that needs treatment as soon as possible.