Mouth sores are a common illness that can affect people of all ages. While many mouth sores are harmless, some can indicate more serious issues. Sores are often painful when they develop, and they can make simple tasks like brushing the teeth or eating hot food more difficult.
The symptoms of mouth sores differ based on the type of sore. The symptoms may include, but are not limited to, redness, discomfort, inflammation, tingling or burning sensations, difficulties eating (particularly spicy or salty meals), blistering, bleeding, ulceration, or dysphagia(difficulty swallowing).
Most mouth sores are caused by irritation in the mouth. Most common causes of these irritations include poorly fitted dentures, a sharp or fractured tooth, braces or other devices, such as retainers, burning the mouth on hot food, beverages, or tobacco products. Other drugs, such as beta-blockers, very acidic diets, quitting nicotine, hormonal changes during pregnancy, stress, or vitamin and folate shortages, might also cause mouth sores. Furthermore, medical conditions like candidiasis, oral thrush, herpes simplex, lichen planus, chronic canker sores, gingivostomatitis leukoplakia, autoimmune illnesses, and oral cancer can cause mouth sores.
Mouth sore treatments may include steroid gel, pain relievers or anti-inflammatories. Additionally, rinsing with warm salt water a few times a day, taking over-the-counter pain medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, avoiding crushing the sores, and quitting smoking or using any tobacco products can be done at home to alleviate pain. If you suspect the sores indicate something else, or if the pain is getting unbearable, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
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