Oral mucosa inflammation, stomatitis, and oral mucositis might sound unfamiliar and technical, but they are simply names for a group of painful oral health issues that plague most of us at one time or another. These issues have many causes, but the one thing they have in common is that they impact the mucosal lining that lubricates and protects the inside of our mouths. Mirhamid Salek, DDS of A-Z Dental Care, a leading oral medicine specialist, has helped patients with all of them.
We will address in order of seriousness.
- Colds sores or herpes outbreaks. These are annoying but short-lived sores related to viral infections that many of us get from to time. They typically last no more than a week or two, though some people may suffer from herpes outbreaks on a chronic basis. HSV is a virus, which tends to remain in the body, and can become active periodically with stress.
- Canker or aphthous. This painful lesion usually stays less than one week in minor instances and stays more than a week in major cases. The size of the lesion in minor cases is about two or three millimeters but they can be more than one centimeter in the most severe cases. These sores are not caused by an infection; instead, they are typically related to immune system over-activation due to stress.
- Minor mouth trauma. Scalding hot drinks and foods, braces, or even just having a sharp tooth can disturb the lining of the mouth. Chewing tobacco also traumatizes mouth lining and can lead to persistent discomfort.
- Illnesses or medical reaction symptoms. Autoimmune illnesses such as lichen planus, pemphigus, and pemphigoid, can lead to general mouth irritations and sores. Also, as noted in a June 2018 article in Medscape, systemic gastrointestinal illnesses including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can spark painful mouth inflammation. Other causes include reactions to antibiotics and other medications, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
- Gingivitis (gum disease) and periodontitis. According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Dental Research, close to 50 percent of the US adult population may suffer from illnesses of the tissues that support teeth, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. It’s no surprise, then, that many A-Z Dental Care patients deal with inflammation of the gums and other parts of the mouth, along with such unpleasant symptoms as bleeding gums and halitosis (bad breath). If left untreated, these illnesses can lead to tooth loss and numerous other oral health problems. There is also a correlation between periodontitis and diabetes, poor heart function, as well as problems with gums and other supporting tissues due to infection and inflammation.
- Oral Cancer: Cancer of the mouth is the sixth most common cancer, and such habits as using tobacco and alcohol can greatly increase the risk. As with other cancers, early detection is the key to successful treatment. A visit to the dentist should be the first line of defense against an illness that can lead to disfigurement or death in the worst cases.
Don’t Suffer in Silence – Call Us
If you are suffering from persistent mouth pain, do not wait to seek treatment. Visiting a dentist regularly is an important part of taking care of your overall health. If you are in need of oral healthcare and are in the West Covina/San Gabriel Valley area, we are here to help. Contact Dr. Salek and the rest of the A-Z Dental Care team today at (626) 966-8408 or make an appointment online.