Mouth Sores… What causes them and how to get rid of them
If you have experienced cankers or cold sores, you know they can be painful and unsightly. They can occur anywhere in the mouth including: Bottom of the mouth, Inner cheeks, Gums, Lips and Tongue. But what causes them?
Mouth sores may be caused by irritation from:
A sharp or broken tooth or poorly fitting dentures
Biting your cheek, tongue, or lip
Burning your mouth from hot food or drinks
Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus and are very contagious. Often, you will have tenderness, tingling, or burning before the actual sore appears. Cold sores usually begin as blisters and then crust over. The herpes virus can live in your body for years.
It only appears as a mouth sore when something triggers it, such as:
Another illness, especially if there is a fever
Hormone changes (such as menstruation)
Canker sores are not contagious. They may look pale or yellow like an ulcer with a red outer ring. You may have one, or more at a time and for reason unexplained women seem to get them more than men.
The cause of canker sores is not clear. It may be due to:
A weakness in your immune system (for example, from the cold or flu)
Lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet, including vitamin B12 or folate
Less commonly, mouth sores can be a sign of an illness, tumor, or reaction to a medication. This can include:
Cancer of the mouth
Infections such as hand foot mouth disease
Weakened immune system — for example, if you have AIDS or are taking medication after a transplant
Drugs that may cause mouth sores include aspirin, beta-blockers, chemotherapy medicines, penicillin, sulfa drugs, and phenytoin