Three Common Mouth Sores And How To Treat Them

5 January 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Are you concerned about a new mouth sore? Here are three common types of sores, and what you can do about them.

Canker sore

Canker sores are small, white ulcers that occur inside the mouth. The majority of canker sores are painful, and although they can be an inconvenience, they shouldn't be debilitating. The typical canker sore heals without any intervention in a week or two. A much rarer type, called complex canker sores, can last up to six weeks. Complex canker sores are larger, and as soon as one starts to heal, another pops up.

There is no definitive cause for canker sores, but there's some speculation that stress, vitamin deficiencies, illness, and injury to the mouth can all cause an outbreak. Keeping your mouth clean by frequent brushing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash may help speed up recovery time

Cold sore

Unlike canker sores, cold sores are found on the outside of the mouth. Cold sores usually start with a telltale tingling sensation around the site of the outbreak. Within a day or two, a group of small blisters crop up, only to burst open a couple days later. After the blisters completely drain, they scab over and eventually fall off. The typical cold sore outbreak lasts a little less than two weeks.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex-1 virus, although not everyone exposed to the virus actually develops cold sores. Once a person is infected, the virus is with them for life—it merely remains dormant between outbreaks. Stress, illness, and nutrient deficiencies can all trigger cold sores. Over-the-counter ointments and oral medication may be able to accelerate the healing process.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is characterized by thick white lesions inside the mouth—generally on the tongue. The area surrounding the lesions may be red and inflamed. Oral thrush typically causes pain that can interfere with eating, and the lesions are prone to bleeding.

Oral thrush is caused by a type of fungus called Candida albicans. This fungus is normally present in the mouth, but certain medications or illnesses that damage the immune system can lead to an overgrowth. Treatment for oral thrush usually involves a round of antifungal medication to kill off some of the Candida.

When you notice a new mouth sore, it's important to receive a proper diagnosis from your dentist—especially if it's something you've never dealt with before. Although most mouth sores are benign, your dentist, one like Wadson Bryan J Dr Inc, will want to rule out more serious possibilities.