5 Common Mouth Sores and Caring for Them
In today’s blog we’re discussing some of the most common sores that appear in the mouth and how to care for them. There are many causes and reasons we develop sores in our mouth, but in many cases they will resolve on their own or with the help of a dentist.
1 . Canker Sores: This is by far the most common sore that we see in the mouth. Despite their small size they are often painful, especially if exposed to salty food or citrus fruits. Their onset is typically brought on by stress, fatigue, vitamin deficiency (most commonly B-12), or premenstrual hormones in women. These sores usually take 7 to 10 days to heal. Some over the counter products such as “Canker Cover” are available for to help relieve symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and warm salt water rinses will help. It is also recommended to practice gentle brushing and try using a sensitivity toothpaste without abrasives or foaming agents while a canker sore is present. Canker sores are not contagious.
2. Cold Sores: Cold sores are contagious and most often appear on the upper or lower lip and last 1 to 2 weeks. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Because cold sores are recurrent, the virus lays dormant in cells until it is triggered again. Common triggers include stress, fatigue, sun exposure, and changes in menstrual cycle in women. Over the counter numbing agents are available to help alleviate discomfort while they heal. Prescription ointments are also available that have antiviral medication in them. If you have a cold sore, be careful kissing or wiping your mouth with your hands, and don’t pick at them!
3. Burns: If you’re anything like Dr. Johnson and Dr. Long, you’re eager to get that first bite of a steaming piece of pizza. OUCH! Eating hot food or drinking hot liquids can lead to burns on the roof of the mouth, tongue, or cheeks. Applying ice directly to the site following the burn can lessen the discomfort and sucking on ice or a popsicle can also help during the healing process. Like most lesions in the mouth it will take about a week to heal.
4. Cheek/Tongue Bite: OUCH! Don’t you hate when you’re chomping on your favorite meal or a piece of gum and catch your tongue or cheek? The worst part is that you often bite the same area again because it swells up. These areas will heal on their own, but anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and warm salt water rinses can help with the discomfort.
5. Sores From Braces or Dentures: We all know that braces and dentures both serve a purpose, but boy can they annoying sometimes. If a sharp area on your braces is causing cuts on your cheeks or lips simply apply some wax over the bracket to help alleviate the irritated area. If a denture is causing sore spots it may need an adjustment or a piece of trapped food may be irritating your gums. Check and clean the dentures first and if that does not alleviate the discomfort schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson or Dr. Long to get the denture adjusted and fitting properly again. The fit of dentures can change over time due to various factors such as weight loss or resorption of bone, so it is important to have regular check ups to make sure the dentures are fitting properly.
That does it for today’s blog. We hope that you find this information helpful and please do not hesitate to call the office at 317-535-7141 if you have any questions or are in need a check up.