• Mouth sores can come in many forms, from minor bumps or blisters on the lips or gums to white patches inside the cheeks or tongue.
• Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and typically appear as small blisters around the lips or nose.
• Canker sores are small ulcers that form inside the mouth on the cheeks, gums, tongue, or lips.
• Mucosal lesions are small white spots on the soft tissue inside your mouth, such as your cheeks and tongue.
• Scarring can occur from some types of mouth sores, which can require lip-shaping services to even out the scarring.
Have you ever had a sore in your mouth that won’t go away? If so, then you know how uncomfortable and inconvenient it can be. But what are these sores, exactly? Are they serious? Here’s a dive into mouth sores and discuss their causes and how to eliminate them.
Types of Mouth Sores
Mouth sores can come in many forms, from minor bumps or blisters on the lips or gums to white patches inside the cheeks or tongue. While some of these sores can be painful, others may not cause any symptoms. The most common types of mouth sores include aphthous ulcers (canker sores), cold sores (fever blisters), leukoplakia (white patches inside the mouth), and lichen planus (raised bumps).
What Causes Them?
Mouth sores come in several varieties, including cold sores (also known as fever blisters), canker sores, and mucosal lesions. Each type has its own set of symptoms and causes.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). They typically appear as small blisters around the lips or nose and may be painful or itchy. Cold sores usually last 7-10 days. They often occur during stress or illness when the body’s immune system is weakened. Cold sores can also be spread through direct contact with saliva or skin contact with an infected person’s lesion.
Canker sores are small ulcers that form inside the mouth on the cheeks, gums, tongue, or lips. They can be very painful and typically heal within 2-3 weeks without treatment. Canker sores are not contagious, and there is no single known cause for their formation; however, it is believed that stress and certain foods may trigger them.
Mucosal lesions are small white spots on the soft tissue inside your mouth, such as your cheeks or tongue. These lesions are usually painless, but they can become irritated if food or drink comes into contact with them; however, they typically heal on their own within a few days to weeks without treatment.
Bacteria sometimes cause mucosal lesions from dental plaque buildup; however, other causes include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause, allergies to certain foods or medications, irritation from braces or dentures, smoking cigarettes/tobacco products, etc.
In most cases, mouth sores don’t lead to scarring. However, some types of sores can cause permanent scarring. This is especially true for cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), as they have a higher risk of leaving behind a scar. Those who experience this must get a lip shaping service to even out the scarring and make their lips look normal again. It’s a great way also to plump their lips if it was harshly affected by a previous case of mouth sores.
How to Treat Mouth Sores
Most mouth sores will heal on their own without treatment. However, there are some things you can do to help relieve symptoms and speed up healing:
Improve Oral Hygiene
Mouth sores are often caused by poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent future sores from forming. Also, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid irritating the sore, and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.
Eat Soft Foods
Eating softer foods can reduce discomfort while eating or talking. Avoid acidic, spicy, salty, or hard foods that can irritate the sore.
Use Pain Relief Gels and Creams
Over-the-counter pain relief gels and creams can provide temporary relief from mouth sores. However, read the label carefully before use, as some products may contain ingredients that could worsen your symptoms.
See a Dentist
If your symptoms persist or worsen, make an appointment with your dentist. A dentist can provide advice on how to treat the sore and may prescribe medication if necessary.
Mouth sores are often uncomfortable and inconvenient but usually go away without treatment. Still, it’s best to take steps to prevent them, as some types can lead to permanent scarring. Practice good oral hygiene and pay attention to any changes in your mouth that could signal the onset of a sore. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, see your dentist for advice on treating them.