Lesions in mouth that cause pain, especially when having meals may indicate oral thrush, canker sores or even oral cancer. To know more about treatment for these mouth ulcers, read on.
Lesions in mouth is an unwelcome change that can bring activities like talking or eating to a standstill. Lesions or ulcers are open wounds that bleed on scrubbing. In such cases, brushing the teeth, with lesions inside the mouth can be quite painful. Oral lesions or ulcers are usually observed on the tongue, inner cheeks, and the gums. However, certain precautions such as avoiding spicy foods can help to prevent further complications and speed up healing.
There are several reasons that could lead to the onset of lesions in the mouth, the most common being improper oral hygiene. Other causes are given below:
Following improper practices of cleaning teeth, such as too much brushing can damage the gums, which may lead to the formation of mouth ulcers. Eating hot and spicy foods can also bring damage inside the mouth and cause ulceration. Also, people using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate as an active ingredient are at a higher risk of developing these mouth sores.
Also, referred to as yeast infection of the mouth, oral thrush is caused by a fungus known as Candida albicans. Honestly speaking, the fungus is already present in the mouth. However, when its presence exceeds beyond the normal range, the infection is visible in the form of white lesions on the tongue. The appearance of these lesions is not restricted to the tongue and can occur anywhere inside the mouth, including the gums, roof of the mouth and the inner cheeks.
A weakened immune system is unable to control the growth of fungus, which leads to yeast infection. Overuse of medications like antibiotics and corticosteroids can also cause oral thrush. Even people suffering from diabetes and dry mouth are at a higher risk of getting oral thrush. Uncontrolled yeast infection of the mouth can also invade the throat, leading to difficulty swallowing and is accompanied by fever.
Canker sores appear like white patches in the mouth. They are generally seen under the tongue but many times invade the inner cheeks. These oval-shaped lesions trigger a painful sensation, especially while eating food. People who are allergic to certain foodstuffs like chocolate, strawberries, and eggs or those having a diet low in vitamin B12 and zinc, are also likely to develop canker sores.
People chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes on a regular basis are predisposed to oral cancer. As we all know, cancer is nothing but indiscriminate growth of cells that form a solid mass (tumor) and eventually attack healthy tissues of the body. Distinct white or red patches inside the mouth are the most common symptoms of oral cancer.
Mouth lesions in oral cancer do not respond to standard treatment. Oral cancer also affects the teeth and gums. The gums are no longer able to hold the teeth firmly and the patient experiences difficulty, while swallowing food. Cancer of the oral cavity can also cause sore throat, which may lead to hoarseness in voice.
This is a viral infection, that typically affects the mucous membranes of the mouth or lips. The infection is caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), that causes cold sores in the form of watery blisters, inside the mouth.
People with Crohn’s disease often complain about lesions in the mouth. In this condition, inflammation is seen in any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Although, any area of the gastrointestinal tract can get inflamed in Crohn’s disease, the most commonly affected area is the small intestine. If appropriate treatment is not taken, health complications in the form of mouth ulcers and gum inflammation occur. The oral lesions in this disease appear as white patches, that cause pain, while talking and consuming food.
In this condition, the small intestine does not function properly. As a result, the digestive system is unable to absorb nutrients inadequately from food. In this condition, the body becomes allergic to gluten (gluten intolerance), a protein that is naturally found in certain foods. Inadequate absorption of nutrients, often leads to sudden weight loss. Doctors are of the opinion that recurring episodes of mouth sores, is an indication of celiac disease.
Treatment will be decided depending upon the underlying cause. For instance, people diagnosed with oral thrush are often advised to eat yogurt that does not contain any sugar. Plain yogurt is loaded with ‘good’ bacteria that can help to get rid of yeast infection of the mouth.
In case of canker sores, treatment is generally not required and the lesions may vanish on their own within a week. However, occurrence of large canker sores that have a diameter of more than ½ an inch do require treatment in the form of mouth rinse that contains the steroid dexamethasone. Topical pastes containing benzocaine and amlexanon are also useful to reduce the pain.
On the whole, maintaining proper oral hygiene as well as giving up unhygienic habits like smoking or chewing tobacco, can considerably minimize the risk of mouth ulcers. Also, taking treatment in the initial stages of development of mouth lesions is the key to reduce the recovery time.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.