How can I tell if the sore in my mouth is something I should worry about?
Nearly nine in ten diseases can cause symptoms in your mouth. That puts your dentist on the front line for spotting dangerous health conditions developing silently in your body. This is one reason it's so important to see your dentist at least two times a year for dental cleanings and checkups.
When caring for your teeth and gums at home, it's also important to watch for new problems in your mouth. They may be warning signs of more severe conditions in your body.
If you notice any of these signs, see your dentist right away. Your dentist can diagnose specific dental issues that may be developing. Or she can refer you to another healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment.
Sores or localized abnormalities inside the mouth can arise from some causes. Mouth sores can occur on the tongue, gums, lips, or inside the cheeks. They may appear as ulcers or red or white patches in the mouth. Bleeding may sometimes occur if ulceration is severe. Bite injuries to the tongue or inside of the cheek are a common cause of mouth sores. Also commonly, mouth sores represent aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous stomatitis.
Sores in the mouth can occur with certain systemic (affecting multiple locations within the body)diseases such as Crohn's disease, Behçet's syndrome, and systemic luxury erythematosus (SLE). Rarely, mouth sores are among the initial signs of oral cancers. Herpes simplex virus infection causes so-called cold sores, which are typically located on the lips, but they can also occur on the gums. Among the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the chances of syphilis can occur as mouth sores.
Canker sores are small white swellings or sores surrounded by an area of redness. While canker sores are not contagious, they are often confused with cold sores, which are caused by the contagious herpes virus. It may help to remember that canker sores occur inside the mouth, while cold sores usually occur outside the mouth. Canker sores are common and often recur. Although the exact cause is uncertain, some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved. Factors such as stress, trauma, allergies, cigarette smoking, iron or other vitamin deficiencies, and heredity may also make one susceptible.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex, are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are usually caused by a type of herpes virus and are very contagious. The first infection often occurs in children, sometimes without symptoms, and may be confused with a cold or flu. Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body, occasionally causing recurrent attacks. For some people, however, the virus remains inactive.
If you have dental questions or concerns, please call our dental office in Warrenton, VA. Our top dentist in Warrenton, VA is available to discuss and fix all dental issues.