Stomatitis is a general term referring to mouth irritants. It is characterized by inflammation or soreness in the mouth. Stomatitis can occur anywhere on the mouth including the palate, lips, tongue, gums or the inside of the cheeks. This condition can be painful and it can interfere with your ability to properly eat, drink, speak or in severe cases the ability to sleep.
Canker sores are a common stomatitis that effect 20% of the U.S. population. Canker sores are identified by their appearance. They are small ulcers, pale in color and surrounded by a red ring around it. Mostly found in the mouth, either on the tongue, on the inside of the cheeks, or on the lips. They can be singular or in clusters. Canker sores are painful and last between 5-10 days. The exact cause of canker sores are unknown, but there are circumstances which may contribute to their development. Canker sores are not contagious and are thought to be the result of a genetic disposition. Certain medications, poor nutrition, stress, bacterial or viral infection, sudden weight loss, lack of sleep all have been known contributors to developing canker sores. Foods are contributors to the onset of a canker sore. Foods such as potatoes, chocolate, nuts, cheese, coffee, and citrus fruits. A reduced immune system due to cold or flu, hormonal changes or even low levels of vitamin B-12. all can contribute to canker sore development.
Cold sores are known as fever blisters. They are blisters filled with fluid and they occur on or around the lips. After a while they will scab. Cold sores are painful with tenderness beginning before the sore appears. Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Type 1, a viral infection. This condition is highly contagious from the time the blister appears until the time it is completely healed. Typically, this virus is contracted before adulthood. Once infected the virus will stay in the body dormant and will reappear during stress, fever, hormonal changes sunlight or trauma.
Common Mouth Irritants:
- Biting your cheek or mouth
- Autoimmune disease
- Gum disease
- Chewing tobacco
- Wearing braces
- Ill fitting dentures
- Radiation treatment for cancer/li>
- Burning your mouth with hot food or drinks
- Sensitivity to certain food or medicines
All of these irritants can be painful and interfere with you daily activities. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Kantarovich will examine your mouth and prescribe the proper treatment to get you out of pain quickly and back to a state of good oral health.