Did You Know?

Mouth Sores: The Attack on Soft Tissue

Cold Sores – They Come and They Go

Mouth sores are common ailments that most experienced at one time or another. They appear on parts of soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, the floor and roof of the mouth, and sometimes, on the esophagus. They are usually a minor irritation that last only a week or two, though sometimes they portend of more serious conditions – like the viral herpes simplex or even mouth cancer.

Mouth sores symptoms usually present as redness and pain, especially when eating and drinking and there can be a burning or tingling sensation around the sore. Depending on the size, severity, and location of the sores in the mouth, they can make eating, drinking, swallowing, talking, or even breathing difficult. The sores may also develop blisters.

What causes mouth sores? These sores can develop if you have bitten your tongue, cheek, or lip, burn your mouth, experienced irritation from a sharp object, such braces, retainer, or dentures, if you have brushed teeth too hard, or are infected with the herpes simplex virus. Occasionally, mouth sores are the result of, or a reaction to, medications, bleeding disorders, bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, autoimmune disorders, radiation or chemotherapy, cancer, or a weakened immune system due to AIDS or a recent organ transplant.

It is unknown what causes canker sores, the most common mouth sore. Those open, painful mouth ulcers are non-contagious, painful up to 10 days, but resolve in 1 to 3 weeks without treatment. However, see your doctor or dentist if you noticed that the sores are long-staying or do not heal or they get worse, if you suspect herpes simplex or another infection, or if you are starting cancer treatment.
You can’t really prevent mouth sores, but you can take steps to avoid them, so try to have a balance diet, take vitamins, drink plenty of water, practice proper oral hygiene, don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake, avoid very hot foods and drinks as well as spicy foods, chew slowly, and see your dentist if an appliance is causing irritation.

In most cases, mouth sores have no long-term effects. Herpes simplex sores tend to reappear; severe cold sores leave scarring. Outbreaks are more common if you are under stress, have a weakened immune system, had too much sun exposure, or have a break in the skin of your mouth.

See your doctor or dentist for treatment to reduce the symptoms or speed up healing time.

Dental Consult for Mouth Sores in Lynnwood

See us in Lynnwood if you feel you need to have your mouth sores examined and treated. It’s good to have a working knowledge about these little irritants so that you know what to expect and what to do. Know how to keep mouth-healthy and free of sores in Lynnwood.