Dental health is not limited to your teeth! Mouth Sores affect many people at some point in their lives. These sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth. You can even develop mouth sores on your esophagus.
Any sore that lasts a week or longer should be examined.
TYPES OF MOUTH SORES:
CANKER SORES – Lesions that form on the gums and other mouth tissues; not on the lips. Also called apthous ulcers. A canker sore is not contagious and the cause isn’t quite clear, but stress, hormones, immune problems, food hypersensitivities and related infections are all possible triggers. Usually, the sores heal in 10 to 14 days.
FEVER BLISTER or COLD SORES – An infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus and occur on the edge of the outer lips. The first infection can cause flu-like symptoms, blisters and ulcers on the gums and tongue, or there may be no symptoms at all. Once infected, the virus has a permanent presence in the body, but the infection itself can stay dormant with proper care. After these symptoms disappear, the virus stays in the body, but stress, trauma, sunlight and cold can cause it to flare up. They are contagious and will come and go but are not completely curable. Recurring outbreaks are usually milder and last from a week to 10 days.
ORAL THRUSH – a fungal infection that occurs when the yeast Candida albicans reproduce in large numbers. It is common among denture wearers. Most often it occurs in people with weak immune systems—the very young, elderly or those debilitated by disease. In addition, people with dry mouth syndrome are susceptible. Thrush may also flourish after antibiotic treatment, which can decrease normal bacteria in the mouth. Controlling thrush means focusing on preventing or controlling the condition that causes the outbreak. Good oral hygiene is essential.
LEUKOPLAKIA – thick, whitish-color patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue; caused by excess cell growth and are common among tobacco users. They can result from irritations such as an ill-fitting denture or the habit of chewing on the inside of the cheek. Sometimes leukoplakia is associated with oral cancer.