Sunday, September 27, 2015

PAINFUL SORES IN THE MOUTH

Sores in the mouth that last more than three weeks without healing should be evaluated by a dentist or oral surgeon.  Period.  Most non-cancerous sores should heal within a three-week time frame.  There are two main groups of painful ulcerous lesions that form in the mouth.  The first type is known as canker sores or recurrent aphthous ulcers.  They are small whitish oblong sores.  The second is cold sores or herpes simplex (type 1).  These are viral lesions that are painful fluid-filled blisters and are extremely contagious.  Both sores form ulcerous lesions that can be found at a single location or in groups.  The differentiating factor is where the lesion is located.  Canker sores form in the soft tissues not supported by underlying bone, such as the tongue, cheek and vestibule of the mouth.  Cold sores typically form on tissue over bone such as the roof of your mouth and the gum tissue up to a half inch below where your teeth enter the gums.  However, they can also be found around the surrounding  lip surfaces.

Now let's look at how these two uniquely different sores are treated.  Cold sores are viral lesions and can be treated with both topical and systemic corticosteriods.  Since they are contagious, it is prudent that the lesions are treated in a timely fashion and are not able to spread.  Both physicians or dentists can diagnose and prescribe this medication.  Canker sores, on the other hand, are treated using over the counter medications.  Examples of these products are:  Kanca, Orabase B, Vitamin B12 and Anbesol.  Although these medications will not expedite the healing of the lesions, they will numb them and make it more comfortable to eat and talk.

15 Comments:

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