There are many types of mouth sores that can develop in and around your mouth. The most common types that can occur are canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis, or oral thrush. When these irritations happen they can be painful and irritating. Any mouth sores that lasts more than a few weeks in your mouth whether it is painful or not, you should let us or your dentist know as soon as possible, since it might be an indication of some serious disease such as cancer or HIV.
Canker sores are usually white small round ulcerations or swellings surrounded by redness. They are not contagious and they usually occur due to stress or sickness. The actual cause for them is not clear, but research has shown it to be immune related. Cold sores are usually confused with canker sores since they can present in similar ways. However cold sores are due to a viral infection and can be contagious. While canker sores are usually only in the mouth, cold sores usually occurs outside your mouth and around your lips, nose or chin. They can also sometimes occur on your gums. Both canker sores and cold sores will usually heal by themselves in a week or two, but if they are still there after two weeks please come in to see us or your dentist.
Candidiasis, or mouth thrush, is a fungal infection in your mouth. This usually occurs when patient wears denture all the time especially when they sleep. Thrush can also occur in patients that have weak immune systems, such as newborns or immune compromised patients. Thrush can usually be treated easily with anti-fungal medications and better cleaning of the mouth or dentures.
Leukoplakia are white patches that can form on the inner cheeks, gums or your tongues. They are usually not painful and can sometimes be areas where you have chewed your cheeks or rubbing from your dentures. However, in cases where these white patches do not go away, that can be an indication of oral cancer. This is why we recommend you see us or your dentist if you have something in your mouth that lasts more than two weeks, or if you are just not sure. By coming in to see us, you can have a better peace of mind to make sure whatever it is in your mouth is nothing serious.