Mouth sores affect about 80% of Americans at some point and can be a frustrating and painful condition. While these sores are normally nothing to worry about and resolve themselves within a few days, mouth sores can sometimes be the sign of a more complex condition. Find out what you need to know about mouth sores with help from your Pittsfield, MA ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Giulio I. Cavalli.
What causes mouth sores?
Mouth sores can be a side-effect of certain medications, disorders, or conditions, but usually appear due to an injury or trauma to the oral tissues. Other causes of mouth sores include:
- biting your tongue or cheek
- eating too-hot food and burning your mouth
- chewing tobacco
- the herpes simplex virus (cold sores)
- irritation from braces or other dental appliances
- using too much force while brushing your teeth
Canker sores are different than general mouth sores and have no known cause. Studies have found some people to be more prone to canker sores than others. Those who have a weakened immune system, certain diseases, a vitamin deficiency, or who have sudden changes in hormones are more at-risk for canker sores. Canker sores also tend to present themselves after eating acidic or spicy foods.
When should I see my ear, nose, and throat doctor?
If you have white patches on the inside of your mouth, sores which correlate to taking a new medication, mouth sores which do not go away after a few weeks, or have or suspect you have the herpes simplex virus, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. A physical examination, family and medical history, and biopsies or testing can help your doctor determine the cause of your mouth sores.
Mouth Sore Treatment in Pittsfield, MA
Treatment for mouth sores depends on the patient. Avoiding irritants and making some simple lifestyle changes is often enough to prevent mouth sores from forming in the first place. Avoid foods which are very spicy or acidic, tobacco use, and touching the sores. Your doctor may suggest using a prescription anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, or steroid gel or ointment to reduce your symptoms. If your doctor suspects mouth cancer, a biopsy and testing reveals which step you and your doctor should take next.
For more information on mouth sores, please contact Dr. Giulio I. Cavalli in Pittsfield, MA. Call (413) 443-6116 to schedule your examination today!