Don’t forget that your dentist is concerned with your entire oral health, not just your teeth!! Sometimes you may develop sores in your mouth that require attention and other times they just need time to heal. Not sure what kind of sore you have, here is a quick run down on a few common mouth sores.
These are probably the most common and the least worrisome kind of sore. They normally appear on the tongue or inside of the lip or cheek. Though their exact origin is not certain they usually develop due to mouth trauma (hit in the face, orthodontic appliances, ill-fitting dentures) possible immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses may be involved. Canker sores are usually a white color with a red border. They are NOT contagious. The best treatment is time, they usually last around a week.
Cold sores can also be referred to as fever blisters. They are most common on the edges of your lips, or under your nose. Cold sores look like liquid filled groups of blisters. They are caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus. Though the attacks usually only last a week or so, the virus will always be present in your body once infected. Cold sores ARE contagious. There are over the counter creams available to relieve symptoms. If you get cold sores frequently enough your dentist can prescribe an antiviral.
Thrush is also known as oral candidiasis. It is caused by a fungus that is normally present in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and cause symptoms. Oral thrush presents usually as creamy white lesions, commonly on your tongue or inner cheeks. People that have weaker immune systems (babies, and the elderly) are more prone to this condition. Controlling thrush means focusing on preventing the condition that caused the outbreak. Good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, cleaning dentures, keeping baby’s mouths clean) is your best defense.
If you have a mouth sore that persists longer than a week or two you should consult your dentist.