Common oral sores and infections

It is common to have a sore in your mouth that is caused by trauma, like biting the inside of your cheek or tongue.  This will heal within 7-10 days.

Other common oral sores include canker sores, cold sores and oral yeast infection (thrush).


Canker sores

Canker sores occur inside the mouth, often on the cheek, side of the tongue, or gums.  Usually they are round, with a yellowish white center and a red edge.  There are numerous possible causes, including eating acidic foods, trauma, stress, allergies and some systemic diseases.  The medical term for this condition is recurrent aphthous ulcers.  These sores usually heal in 7-10 days.  If they do not, you should see your dentist to check it.



Cold sores

Cold sores (fever blisters) appear on the lips and may reoccur often.  There is often a tingling or burning sensation in the area where blisters will form on the lip.  The sores are caused by a virus.  From the time when the blisters appear until they crust over it is possible to spread the virus to another person.  An outbreak can be triggered by a fever, exposure to the sun, fatigue or hormonal changes.

This condition can be treated with medication that may prevent the sores, or decrease both the size and time before they heal.



Oral yeast infections

Oral yeast infections are a white coating that develops inside the cheeks, tongue or the roof of the mouth.  If the white coating can be wiped off it will leave a red, raw area.  There can be a burning sensation associated with the coating, and there may be difficulty in eating due to the discomfort.

Yeast infections are often associated with taking oral antibiotics or steroids, using a steroid inhaler, or having a compromised immune system.  This condition can be treated with medication to stop the infection.