Common Mouth Sores and How to Treat Them

There are several common types of sores that occur inside or around the mouth, and while some of them are very serious because they represent oral cancer, most of the kinds of mouth sores that people experience are not serious and will even go away all by themselves without further complications within a short time. These really common but rather annoying types of little white mouth sores are usually called ulcers. But unlike the kinds of ulcers that we associate with people suffering from persistent stomach ulcers, these little white mouth ulcers usually come on suddenly and then gradually disappear.

You may also hear them described by their other name – canker sores. They first erupt as gray or white sores where the inside of the mouth is normally pink – like behind the lips, inside the cheek, or in the gums at the base of the teeth. They are not contagious, and while doctors are not exactly sure why we get them they often happen when people are stressed-out, suffering from allergies, or have undergone a change in diet. Some people find that taking over the counter tablets of the mineral Lysine helps to calm down canker sores, and it is a good idea to avoid acidic or spicy foods if you have a mouth ulcer outbreak. Left untreated, however, they normally vanish by themselves after a week or two.

You can also get a yeast infection in the mouth – or a candida infection – and that can cause an outbreak of sores in the mouth. People who wear false teeth or dentures sometimes get these yeast infections, and if you suspect that you have one then consult your dentist or pharmacist to find out the best way to treat it. One of the most troublesome varieties of mouth cores, however, is fever blisters or sores that are a result of the herpes virus. Because herpes is a virus it cannot be treated with antibiotics, and it is also contagious at certain times – especially when the virus presents itself during an outbreak of sores.

The sores are typically found on the lips or near the lips, and they look sort of like a small blister. Those who have herpes virus should discuss the topic with your doctor to find out how to control the outbreaks, what types of medicines might be available to treat the symptoms, and how to be safe to make sure that they do not spread the herpes virus to anyone else.

Any time that you get an unusual sore place in the mouth or see a lump or discoloration, you should have it checked out by your dentist. Perhaps it is no big deal, and finding out for sure will give you peace of mind. But if you happen to have a serious mouth sore – like those that arise due to mouth cancer – you want to make sure that your doctor finds out right away so that he or she can begin taking steps to investigate, find out exactly what the sore is, and begin any treatment that might be advised to get you back to a level of top oral health.

Dr. Kelaher

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