Lesion on Your Mouth and How to Treat Them
Mouth lesions are quite common. They may be brought about by bacteria, fungi, viruses, poorly fitting dentures, sharp tooth edges, or a loosened orthodontic wire. You may have lumps, pimples, tiny ulcers, or cuts if you have a mouth or tongue lesion. This may be inside or outside the lips and mouth. Since there are numerous varieties of sores, the first step is to pinpoint the issue.
Start by examining the interior of your mouth under a strong light and, if possible, using a magnifying mirror. You can start by sticking out your tongue to look for swellings or lacerations on the top, bottom, and sides. Look for any swelling, redness, or shinier areas in your mouth, on your gums, or on or beneath your tongue. If you have lesions, your mouth may develop pus-filled white spots.
When you notice a red ring surrounding a white or yellow center, you may be having a canker sore. Canker sores typically have a diameter of less than 1 millimetre, although they can reach up to 1 inch. The sores can appear on or behind the tongue, inside the cheeks or lips, at the gum line, or on the back of the palate.
What Causes Mouth Lesions?
While infections are the primary cause of sores inside the mouth, the sores can be exacerbated by stress, other infections, inflammation, and stress. Sores are rarely caused by cancer. If the sore gets irritated, infected or too deep, it may bleed. Some mouth lesions and sores are caused by obvious causes like broken or sharp teeth or braces that have protruding wires.
It has also been found that the gnashing or gritting of teeth while sleeping can cause small bites on the inside of the cheeks. Gum inflammation and gum disease can further cause bleeding in and around your gum line. Other causes of sores and lesions include:
- Biting the tongue
- Chewing the lips
- Drinking hot liquids
- Consuming alcohol
- Brushing or flossing too vigorously
- Using a hard toothbrush
- Oral-to-oral contact with someone with cold sores
- Food allergies
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Spicy foods
- Acidic fruits and vegetables
When Should You Consider Seeing a Doctor?
You should contact your doctor if you are experiencing a fever. You should also see a doctor if you have mouth lesions that don’t go away within a week or if your sores are infected. Your dentist or doctor will be able to identify the kind of mouth sores or lesions you have by looking at them. Tests may be needed if you have large, recurrent or painful sores. To confirm cold sores, the doctor can test the blood for antibodies to herpes. This test is, however, rarely done because the results are often misleading. For most mouth lesions, treatment is not needed. The sores clear up on their own within two weeks.
Different Types of Mouth Lesion
1- Canker soresCanker sores appear to be shallow and round. They last between 7 to 10 days and will go away on their own. The sores can emerge in several areas of your mouth, including inside the cheeks, lips, gum-line and tongue. While it is still unknown what causes canker sores, the consensus is the immune system has a part to play. The sores are also believed to be triggered by mouth injury, acidic foods, emotional stress and hormonal changes. There is no way of preventing or treating canker sores. You can reduce the discomfort by rinsing the mouth with warm water and avoiding acidic or spicy foods.
2- Cold SoresThese are also referred to as fever blisters and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus is transmitted through saliva and skin contact. The sores appear as small blisters on the lips, and the virus usually remains dormant after an infection. The sores may emerge due to a fever or cold, overexposure to the sun, emotional stress or dental treatment. Clinical symptoms of the herpes simplex virus include headaches, vomiting, nausea, fever, sore throat, and blisters (vesicular lesions) on the oral cavity and gum tissues. The symptoms occur about a week after exposure and then become inactive. There is no cure for the virus that causes cold sores.
3- Oral Thrush These lesions are painful and can even bleed. They occur when the Candida albicans fungus accumulates in the mouth. There are also medications that cause oral thrush as a side effect. The issue also occurs in babies but is common in people with a compromised immune system, people who use inhalers with corticosteroids, and people who wear dentures. The symptoms are red and inflamed or white lesions on the cheeks, tongue, gums or tonsils. Symptoms can also include a dry mouth and loss of taste.
5- Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease These sores are caused by a virus. The virus is common in kids under 5 years. While not serious, it is very contagious. Symptoms include painful red lesions on the tongue and inner cheeks. A red rash on the hands and feet may also be seen. Sore throat, fever and general malaise are also common.
How Do You Prevent Mouth Lesions?
The best way to prevent mouth lesions is to avoid kissing and sharing utensils or drinking glasses when blisters or lesions are present. You should also maintain good oral health and schedule regular checkups with a dental professional.
What is Aphthous Ulcer?
Aphthous ulcer is the most common type of oral mucosal ulcer. It appears as a painful, punched-out sore on the mucous membranes of the mouth or genitalia. Aphthous ulcers are also known as canker sores, aphthae, aphthosis, and aphthous stomatitis.
Anyone can get an aphthous ulcer. About 20% of the population have one or more; occasionally. They first appear in childhood or adolescence and affect females more than males.
An aphthous ulcer may be an early manifestation of systemic diseases like gastrointestinal disorders or Behcet disease. It is unclear what really causes aphthous ulcer. However, it is interesting to note that about 40% of people who get aphthous ulcers have a family history of aphthous ulcers.
How Do You Treat Mouth Lesion?
Most mouth lesions will go away on their own within one to two weeks. The symptoms can be managed using medications and complementary therapies. However, you should see a doctor if you have large, persistent or unusually painful lesions.