Sores that form in the mouth are common ailments that affect many people at some point in their lives. Mostly they form on any soft tissues of the mouth including the inside cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, the roof and floor of the mouth. Mouth sores can as well develop on your esophagus (the tube that runs from the neck to your stomach). Sores that form in the mouth are also referred to as canker sores or mouth ulcers or aphthous stomatitis. Although they can be sometime painful or cause problems when it comes to eating or talking, they are not a cause for alarm.
Sore Inside Mouth – Overview
There are different types of mouth sores. Most of the sores that occur in the mouth heal on their own after a couple of days without medical intervention. However, there are several home remedies that can help speed up the healing process.
A sore inside mouth may appear as an ulcer or red or white patches. In severe cases, the ulceration may produce some blood. Mouth sores are not usually contagious and therefore they cannot be transferred from one person to another.
There are two common types of sores inside mouth. These may include the following:
- Simple canker sores – these are types of sores that appear three or four times in a year and they may last up to one week. They are commonly seen in people who are aged between 10 to 20 years
- Complex canker sores – these sores are not very common and they usually appear in people who previously had them.
Symptoms of sore inside mouth
Usually, sores in the mouth may form with some redness and pain, while you are eating or drinking something hot. They may also cause a burning or a tingling sensation around the sore. Depending on the severity, how big the sore is, and the location in the mouth where it formed, sores can make it very difficult to talk, eat, drink, swallow, or breathe. In serious cases they may develop blisters and cause formation of lymph node under the jaw if they are infected.
You may contact your medical provider if a sore inside mouth cause the following symptoms:
- Bleeding from the sores
- Sores that are larger than half an inch in diameter
- If you have frequent outbreak of sores inside mouth
- Forms a rash around it
- Cause swelling of the lymph nodes
- Cause joint pains
- Result in fever
- Cause diarrhea
Sore inside Mouth Causes
The exact cause of sores in the mouth is not known. However, there are numerous issues that are linked to the formation of this ulceration in the mouth. Some researchers have linked them to excess stress, the food we eat and some drinks we take as well. Some cases of complex canker sores are linked to underlying health conditions in our body such as poor immune system, nutritional problems or some gastrointestinal tract diseases.
We are going to share some of the common reasons why you may develop a sore inside mouth although there are very many things that may cause this ulceration. The causes of sores in the mouth may include the following:
Causes of sore inside mouth
- Tissue injury
Tissue injury in the mouth may be due to aggressive brushing of teeth, accidentally biting your tongue, cheek or lip, experiencing irritation from sharp objects such as braces, retainer, or dentures. All these may cause a fracture on the thin skin that is found inside your mouth. We all know that yeast is naturally found in our mouth and therefore in case there are conditions that facilitate it to cause infection, then it will. When the inner mouth is cut due to all these reasons we have listed, this exposes the wound to numerous infections that could cause a sore inside mouth to develop from the wound.
- Underlying heath conditions
Some health conditions such as HIV or cancer can cause your immune system to become weak. When the immune system is weak this means that your body mechanism of preventing you from small infections such as HPV 1 can become problematic. In this case, you will be easily attacked by sores in the mouth. Moreover, nutritional problems such as lack of important nutrients like vitamin B – 12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency can make your body weak when it comes to healing of small cuts in the mouth and therefore these cuts end up developing into sores.
- Irritation from certain foods
Some food s has a lot of acid and therefore they may easily cause irritation on the thin membrane skin that is found in the mouth. Some of the foods that much in acid are citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, pineapple, apple, fig, tomato and strawberry. Also, most of the vegetables we eat usually contain a lot of acid. All these foods may cause cuts in the mouth or in some cases they may result in allergy of the skin to other people. This is the reason why while you eat these foods you feel like something is cutting in the mouth.
However, if vegetables are well cooked, the acidic level usually goes down and they may rarely cause this problem in the mouth. Also, blending the fruit so that you drink eat in juice form may lessen the effect of the acid since it is directly swallowed before it causes problems in the mouth.
Stress is also considered to be the cause of sore inside mouth although sources do not explain how. Some of the researchers have linked stress to cause changes in the levels of hormones. Stress usually increases hormonal activities and in turn these may cause the formation of canker sores. Yes, it has been proven that people who have excess stress usually have sores in their mouths in many occasions. In that case, we are being advised to always avoid stress so as to avoid formation of sores inside mouth.
- Impaired immune system
If you have a weak immune system, this means that your body mechanism to respond to any infection will be poor. We all know that infections causing organisms such as bacteria, virus and fungus usually take advantage of open wound on our skin and if the body mechanism to fight attack is poor, the infection will be successful. It is very easy for people with poor immune system to develop a sore inside mouth as compared to people who have strong immunity. This is because, whenever they develop a cut in the mouth, their body is strong enough to fight any infection that may have wanted to take advantage of the open wound.
- Gastrointestinal tract diseases
These may include diseases such as celiac disease and Cohn’s disease. The digestive system starts from the mouth going down through the stomach in the large intestine. Therefore, the likely wood that an infection taking place inside your intestine may pose a certain effect in your mouth is high. Some of these diseases that take place in the intestinal tract usually cause the development of sores in the mouth as some of their symptoms.
- Chewing tobacco
Generally, nicotine found in tobacco can cause tooth abrasion, gum recession and increased tooth decay. Constant irritation to the area in your mouth where a small amount of chewing tobacco is placed may result in the gums pulling away from the teeth, exposing the inner part of the gum and the root surface of the teeth. This may be seen as ulceration on the gums. This may expose the open wound to possible infections and even your teeth are likely to start rotting since their roots are exposed. This is the reason why people chewing tobacco are likely to end up with sores inside mouth mostly forming on their gums.
- Herpes simplex virus type 1
Yeast is naturally found on our body including in the mouth in a harmless state. If your immune system is compromised, the naturally occurring yeast is allowed to overgrow and therefore causing an infection. In this case, any minor cut or wound in the mouth may end up developing into a sore inside mouth since the body mechanism of fighting minor infections is compromised.
- Reaction to medication
Some medication that we acquire over the counter may cause formation of mouth sores as part of their side effects. Moreover, medications such as radiation or chemotherapy are mostly associated with sores in the mouth as well. In this case, talk to your doctor in case the medication you are using is causing you severe side effects so that he/she may find out an option for you.
Sore inside mouth can be categorized among many symptoms that are associated with cancer. However, it does not mean that if you have canker sores you have cancer since it is a rare condition with much severe symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Mouth Sores
There are numerous ways you can use to get rid of sores in the mouth, both medically or by use of home remedies. Before treatment, you have to know how mouth sores are diagnosed. You can easily tell if you have a mouth sore without needing a doctor to carry out some tests. You will only need to see your doctor if you:
- Your sore inside mouth have white patches
- You have or suspect you may be suffering from herpes simplex virus 1 infection
- Have sores that don’t go away even with treatment or keep coming back after a short time
- Have started taking a new medication
- You started cancer treatment
- You recently had transplant treatment
While you visit your doctor, he/she will examine your mouth, tongue, lips and cheeks. Your doctor may at a point carry out some tests to make sure you are not suffering from something serious like cancer.
How to get rid of mouth sores
In most cases, even without treatment, be sure that your condition will go away after a couple of days. However, several home remedies will be needed to speed up the healing process. It is not realistic that there is any treatment that will clear your canker sores overnight. You may talk to your doctor if the home remedy is not helping or if you realize something fishy. The home remedies for sore inside mouth include the following:
- Alum powder
This is made up of potassium aluminum sulfate. The main use of this component is to preserve food and pickle vegetables. When it comes to treatment it is said to contain astringent properties that can be helpful when it comes to shrinking the tissues and drying out canker sores.
Mix a drop of water with alum powder to come with a paste and apply the paste on a sore inside mouth. Leave it for about one minute before you rinse it out. Do these at least every day until the sore disappears.
- Salt water mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth by use of warm salty water is one of the best and simple home remedy when it comes to speeding up the healing of canker sores. Although it is very painful, salt water will help in drying out the sores and may as well kill the bacteria that can cause infections on the sore. You just need to warm some water and put it in a glass and add some salt and allow it to dissolve. Then swirl this solution in your mouth for around 15 to 30 seconds before you spit it out. You may do these three times a day until you feel some relieve.
- Baking soda rinse
Baking soda is said to restore the pH balance in the mouth and reduce the inflammation that results from open sores in the mouth. Baking soda does not have any harm if swallowed but you have to spit the solution after swirling in the mouth.
Just dissolve a teaspoonful of baking soda in a glass of water and swirl the solution in the mouth for about 20 seconds and spit it. Do this at least three times a day.
- Natural yogurt
Though the exact cause of sores in the mouth is unknown, some may be caused by bacteria known as helicobacter pylori or inflammation of the bowel disease. Natural yogurt contains live probiotic cultures referred to as lactobacillus that may help in eradicating helicobacter pylori and treat some types of inflammatory bowel diseases. If your canker sores are caused by either of these infections, the use of yogurt may prove excellent results. You just have to drink a glass of yogurt daily.
Honey is known to be a natural antibacterial and anti- inflammatory agent. It may help to reduce the pain caused by canker sores, size and redness. It may as well prevent any secondary infection to the wound.
You just have to apply honey directly to the ulcers four times in a day generously.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains anti-microbial properties. In that case, it can speed up the healing of canker sores that are caused by bacterial infection and prevent them from spreading. Coconut oil is also said to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent and therefore may help to reduce pain and redness from sore inside mouth. Just apply the oil directly on the sores for greater results at least thrice a day.
How long does Sores inside Mouth Last
Most of the canker sores or mouth ulceration usually heals on their own without medication after a couple of weeks. So long as the infection was not that severe, the condition may take seven to ten days and starts to heal without treatment.
Minor canker sores for people who have no issue with immune system may take 1 to 3 weeks to heal but major ones can last up to six weeks for them to heal. This is because major sores inside mouth are usually deeper and more than one inch in diameter. Herpetiform sores usually appear as a cluster of numerous small ulcers.
If managed well with the use of treatment, the condition should not take more than 3 to 4 days.
- You may have to replenish your body with essential vitamins such as B -12 and make sure you don’t bite the sore so as it may heal fast.
- Also, maintain a good oral hygiene, and if there is pain from the sore inside mouth, try use some gels like Orasore or mouth paint to reduce pain. Sores that keep coming back should be addressed in the doctor’s office
Canker Sore inside Mouth
Mouth sores are commonly referred to as canker sores. They are much different from cold sores because cold sores usually appear on the lip, while canker sores affect in the inside of your mouth. Canker sores are usually in most cases not caused by an infection and therefore they are not contagious. Canker sores in the mouth have no exact cause and they may form as small ulcers which may eventually become red and can bleed in case of an irritation.
Sores inside Mouth Pictures
The appearance of a sore inside mouth usually depend on the location inside mouth where it formed, severity of the sore, and the reason that led to the formation of the sore. Some sores may form as a cluster of numerous small ulcers while others may form with a rash around them. Here are some of the images that will give you a clear picture on how a canker sore appears like on different areas in the mouth.
- Mouth sores symptoms and signs: https://www.medicinenet.com/mouth_sores/symptoms.htm
- Dental health and canker sores: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores#1
- Causes of mouth sores and their treatments: https://www.healthline.com/health/mouth-sores
- Mouth sores: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003059.htm
- How to get rid of canker sores : https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-to-get-rid-of-canker-sores