What causes mouth sores

There are various kinds of mouth sores that can appear in and around the mouth. The causes for these sores can be any one of a number of reasons. Determining what causes mouth sores in each individual is an important factor when deciding how to treat them. A mouth sore is one that develops in the tissue in the mouth. The affected area becomes a whitish, grayish or yellowish open sore that is surrounded by an area of inflammation. These sores can be very painful. White circles can also be seen around some mouth sores. It can begin with a small spot in or around the mouth that begins to sting or burn. The small spot then becomes inflamed and becomes an open sore. The sore can be very painful and hurt worse when you eat certain foods which are acidic. Glands that are in the lower jaw and neck area may become swollen because of a mouth sore.

Sometimes mouth sores can be caused by viruses, certain kinds of medicines, bacterial infections, cancer and even because you have bitten the inside of your cheek. A chemical irritant can even be the cause of mouth sores. Cold sores or fever blisters also cause mouth sores for a lot of people. Canker sores are mouth sores too. Mouth sores can also develop if you have a problem with your immune system which causes it to overreact and attack mouth tissue as if it is a foreign body. This can happen when you become sick or overly fatigued as well. Another cause for mouth sores is hormone fluctuation, usually during the menstrual cycle in women. Certain vitamin deficiencies are another cause.

The most common cause for mouth sores is aphthous stomatitis, or canker sores. A single canker sore or several of these sores can develop spontaneously. These mouth sores usually last about 10 days. People can develop recurrent mouth sores because of a vitamin deficiency. When a vitamin deficiency is the cause, the mouth sores usually appear every month or two. Vitamin B12 deficiency may be the cause in these cases. About 20 percent of all mouth sores are actually thought to be caused by a B12 or an iron deficiency. However, there have been no scientific studies that have been done that can prove this. People who develop recurrent mouth sores can take a multi-vitamin supplement to see if this helps to prevent recurrent mouth sores.

Virus like the Herpes virus can cause clusters of small blisters in the mouth. These types of blisters are called fever blisters or cold sores. They can appear on the outside of the mouth. Other kinds of viral infections can cause sores on the tongue to develop. Some other causes of mouth sores can be:

  • Anemia
  • Apthous ulcers
  • Chiken pox
  • Measles
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Throat cancer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic infections
  • Ill fitting dentures
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Trench mouth
  • Leukoplakia
  • Syphilis
  • Myeloma
  • Behcet’s syndrome
  • Arganulocytosis
  • Vicent’s angina
  • Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Tonsil disorders
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Acrodermatitis enteropathica
  • HIV virus’s of all kinds
  • Sweet’s disease
  • Steven-Johnson syndrome
  • Agapanthus poisoning

There are many other causes of mouth sores as well. If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than 3 weeks you should see your doctor. Long lasting mouth sores can be a sign of serious illnesses. If the cause of mouth sores cannot be determined the patient can use topical medications to relieve the painful symptoms. Over the counter medications that contain medications like benzocaine can be used too. A doctor can also prescribe an anti-biotic or steroids to treat severely ulcerated mouth sores. Prescription medication can help numb the area where the mouth sores are located.

Last updated on Feb 17th, 2011 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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