It’s a given that most of us will experience mouth sores at some point in our lives. For the most part, these sores will go away naturally within 1 to 2 weeks. Yet, others could signal the beginning of an infection that needs treatment. This is why dental professionals urge patients to pay attention to mouth sores, because they could be an indication of something serious.
While visiting your dentist is the best way to determine if your mouth sore is worth worrying about, understanding how mouth sores develop is also important. Some common day-to-day causes of mouth sores may include:
- Biting your tongue, lip, or cheek
- Burning your mouth (from hot foods or beverages)
- Irritation from a sharp object, including braces and retainers
- Irritation from brushing your teeth too hard
- Irritation from chewing tobacco
In other cases, mouth sores may result from a weakened immune system, hormonal changes, vitamin deficiencies, or intestinal issues such as Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Even so, a reaction to medications may also result in mouth sores. While some over the counter prescriptions can cause inflammation and irritation in the soft tissues of the mouth, radiation and chemotherapy are also closely connected to the development of mouth sores. Bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases, and bacterial infections are other causes for mouth sores.
What To Look For
While you do not need a doctor to tell you that you have a mouth sore, there are instances where you need to contact your doctor or dentist quickly. As a rule, if the sores in your mouth do not go away within 1 to 2 weeks, it’s wise to call your dentist. In turn, if you have recently started cancer treatment, received a transplant, or started a new medication, and you notice mouth sores, it’s important to see your doctor or dentist. It’s also important to contact your doctor if you notice white patches on the sores in your mouth.
At Grateful Dental, Dr. Leia Porcaro provides comprehensive dentistry that focuses on prevention and patient education. That’s why patients feel at ease with Dr. Porcaro, as she helps them understand their oral health in light of any medical conditions or health concerns that they have. If you’ve noticed a mouth sore, give Grateful Dental a call. Your peace of mind is worth it.