Mouth Sores…How To Prevent and How To Treat

Stomatitis is a general term for inflammation of the mucous membrane (lining) of the mouth Wikipedia.  Left untreated it can interfere with a person’s ability to eat, sleep and speak, and can affect tissues of the cheeks, tongue, lips and palate. Dentists in Calgary are familiar with the tell-tale signs of Stomatitis as it can comprise of:

Aphthous Ulcers – or more commonly known as Canker Sores.   Canker sores are only found on the ‘inside’ of the mouth and have a characteristic red border around a white ‘ulcer’ like sore.  Canker sores may appear alone, or in clusters, and tend to appear on the inside of the lips, cheeks, or on the tongue.   A tingling or stinging sensation usually accompanies a canker sore – especially when eating or drinking anything acidic – and the sore lasts anywhere from a few days to a week or two.

There is no cure for canker sores but avoiding certain food groups – like citrus and high spice foods – and trying not to chew on the inside of cheeks or biting the inside of lips will help prevent these sores from occurring.  Canker sores can be quite common in teens who are wearing orthodontic braces or an orthodontic appliance as the metal or acrylic brackets and wires can cause the cheeks and lips to become irritated.  Applying orthodontic wax around the bracket that’s causing the irritation will help with healing.

Cold SoresCold sores can be distinguished from canker sores as they ‘usually’ appear outside of the mouth – around the lips, nose, or on the chin – and are highly contagious.  Cold sores, or fever blisters, are caused by a virus and are fluid filled lesions that are extremely tender and may burn and tingle when the sore initially appears. As cold sores are contagious it’s important to not share a water bottle, cup, toothbrush, or any object that can transmit the virus – that includes saving kisses until sores have disappeared.

Lip balm that contains Lysine has shown to be highly effective in both the prevention and helping to speed the healing of cold sores – it is available over the counter at your local drug store. Trying to avoid stressors like intense sunlight, injury to the area, stresses and anxiety, may help cold sores from reoccurring.

Should you have an upcoming dental appointment and develop a cold sore – call your South Calgary Dental office to inform them – rescheduling your appointment will be necessary so don’t hesitate to let your dental team know.  Bite Dental in South Calgary asks patients to be forthcoming with any changes to their health as being informed allows this Shawnessy Dental office to provide the best level of care. If you suffer from cold sores, speak to Dr. Andy Hoe about anti-viral medication that may help reduce the number and duration of outbreaks.

General Mouth Irritation -  Oral tissues can become irritated due to poor oral hygiene, habitually chewing on lips and cheeks, chewing tobacco, smoking, wearing a denture that doesn’t fit properly, poor overall health and certain medications.  Keeping up with regular check-up and cleaning appointments is a vital part in ensuring the health of oral tissues.  Spending a little over an hour in your Calgary Dental office twice a year can help you avoid unnecessary discomfort.  Call Bite Dental today to schedule your routine check-up and cleaning 403.201.2483

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