• What Are Mouth Sores?

    What are mouth sores?

    Mouth sores are wounds or areas of soreness in your mouth.

    Sores in the mouth can be caused by viral, fungal or bacterial infections, an ill-fitting denture, loose orthodontic wire or a sharp edge from a filling or broken tooth.

    Here are some common mouth sores and other infections to look out for –

    Mouth Sores – Burning Mouth Syndrome

    Burning mouth is a syndrome, which creates a burning sensation in the mouth, palate, tongue, gums, throat and the inside of cheeks.

    What causes this syndrome is not yet clearly understood. Some suspected causes are dry mouth, oral thrush, hormone changes, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, some medications, anxiety or depression.

    Unfortunately the syndrome can go on for months or even years without any relief.

    Treatment for this condition usually includes certain prescription medications and changes in your lifestyle; such as avoiding tobacco, alcohol or acidic and spicy foods.

    Mouth Sores – Candidiasis

    Candidiasis is also known as thrush. Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast but in this case it occurs in the mouth.

    The symptoms for oral thrush include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, white spots on the tongue or inside the mouth and cheilosis (which is cracking at the corners of the mouth).

    This condition is caused by a fungus and takes hold when your immune system is weak. Some medications and antibiotics can encourage the development of this infection by altering the balance of bacteria in the mouth.

    Oral thrush is treated with prescribed anti-fungal medication, which can clear it up reasonably quickly. Early diagnosis is key to a quick recovery.

    Mouth Sores – Canker Sores

    Canker sores – the cause of which is unknown, but trauma to the mouth is suspected.

    Canker sores develop as small white or yellow centred lesions with a red border. They form on the tongue, lips, inside the check and gum line.

    These kinds of sores are not contagious.

    Other things that are thought to cause canker sores, are vitamin B deficiency, food sensitivities, hormonal shifts or spicy, acidic or salty foods.

    Canker sores tend to heal themselves without treatment after a couple of weeks.

    If they are very painful, you can get a topical anaesthetic from your local pharmacist as an over the counter treatment; your chemist may also suggest a antimicrobial mouth wash, which can also provide some relief.

    Mouth Sores – Oral Cancer

    Most mouth sores and infections can be easily treated but in the rare instance of oral cancer, you need to look out for a white or reddish patch in the mouth or a thickening or lump in the skin or lining of the mouth.

    Other symptoms of mouth cancer can be loose teeth, swollen tongue or jaw pain, a sore throat or difficulty chewing and swallowing.

    See your dentist for a thorough diagnosis for any kind of mouth sore so you can take the correct steps to treat it. Early detection of any form of cancer can save a life.

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