What are irritations and oral lesions?
Irritations and oral lesions are swellings, spots or sores in the mouth, lips or tongue. While there are many types of mouth sores and disorders, among the most common are canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. These are discussed below. If you have a sore in the mouth, is not alone: nearly a third of all people are affected at some time. However, sores, irritations and oral lesions are painful, unsightly and can interfere with eating and speaking. Any mouth sore that persists for a week or more should be examined by a dentist. May recommend a biopsy (removal of tissue for analysis), can usually determine the cause and rule out serious illnesses.
How do I know if I have a sore or oral lesion?
The following signs may indicate a mouth sore or oral lesion:
- Canker sores are small white erosions or sores surrounded by a reddened area. While canker sores are not contagious, they are often confused with cold sores caused by the herpes virus. It may be helpful to remember that canker sores occur inside the mouth, while cold sores usually occur outside of it. Canker sores can be repeated and minor (small), major (large) or herpetiform (multiple, in groups or clusters). Canker sores are common and often recur. While the exact cause of these is unknown, some experts believe may be involved immune-hormonal problems, bacteria or virus system. Factors such as stress, trauma, allergies, smoking, iron deficiency or other vitamins and heredity also contribute to a person more likely to develop thrush.
- Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex, is a group of blisters that appear around the lips and sometimes under the nose or chin. Cold sores, usually is caused by a type of herpes virus and is highly contagious. The first infection usually occurs in children, sometimes no symptoms and can be confused with a cold or flu. Once a person is infected, the virus remains in the body, occasionally causing recurrent attacks. In some people, however, the virus inactive permanence.
- Leukoplakia looks like a thick whitish patch on the inside of the cheek, gums or tongue. It is often associated with smoking and chewing snuff, although other causes include badly fitting dentures, broken teeth and chewing on one’s cheek. Since 5% of cases of leukoplakia to cancer, the dentist will perform a biopsy.
- Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by candida albicans (a fungus). It is recognized by the creamy, yellowish or reddish appearing on moist surfaces of the mouth. The tissues found beneath the patch can be painful. Oral fungal infection most often occurs in those who use dentures, newborns, those debilitated by disease and those whose immune system is not working properly. Those who suffer from dry mouth, you are taking or have just completed a course of antibiotics are also susceptible.
How irritations and oral lesions treated?
Treatment varies depending on the type of condition you have. For the most common types of mouth sores and disorders, described above, the treatment is as follows:
- Canker sore canker sores usually heal after 7 or 10 days, although recurrent outbreaks are common. The counter topical ointments and pain relievers provide temporary relief. The use of antimicrobial mouthwashes helps reduce irritation. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed to reduce secondary infection.
- Cold sores: the blisters usually heal in about a week. Since infections have no cure herpes, blisters may reoccur during times of emotional upset, exposure to sunlight, allergies or fever. The counter topical anesthetics can provide temporary relief. Prescription antiviral drugs may reduce these kinds of viral infections. Consult your doctor or dentist about it.
- Leukoplakia: treatment begins by removing the factors causing injuries. For some patients, this means quitting smoking or chewing snuff. For others, it means removing ill-fitting dentures and replace them fit properly. Your dentist will monitor your condition, examining the lesion at intervals of three to six months, depending on the type, location and size of it.
- Candidiasis treatment consists of controlling the conditions that cause outbreaks:
- Cleaning dentures is important to prevent problems induced by them. Is removing dentures at night.
- If the cause is the use of antibiotics or oral contraceptives, you may need to reduce the dose or change therapy.
- Saliva substitutes are available to treat dry mouth.
- When the underlying cause is unavoidable or incurable, you can use antifungal medications.
- Good oral hygiene is essential.