When we eat, we normally eat with abandon, taking it as an obvious fact of life that we shall not experience any discomfort or pain. When this does happen, it is shocking and the frustration increases as the days that we cannot enjoy our food also increase. This discomfort sometimes occurs as a result of mouth sores that we may not have known existed until salt discovered them for us.
What is a mouth sore?
A mouth sore is a break in the mucosa that lines the oral cavity. Their appearance ranges from small almost imperceptible lesions to obviously gross wounds that hurt as much as they are ugly.
Causes of mouth sores
Mouth sores can be caused by a number of different factors which can be both infectious and noninfectious.
The infectious causes can be;
- HSV infection
- HIV with its Kaposi Sarcoma lesions
- syphilis and many others.
The non-infectious causes include;
- trauma from food or cutlery or any other force including tooth brushing
- malignancy for example oral cancer
- exposure to radiotherapy
- hormonal changes during menstruation or pregnancy can also be a predisposing factor.
When to see a doctor
The good thing about mouth sores is that depending on how big they are or what caused them, they heal relatively fast. This is a result of the fast regenerative power of the oral cavity. If your mouth sores take longer than two weeks to heal, then you will need to see a dentist for a better diagnosis and treatment plan. This is because if a wound in the mouth takes that long to heal, it could indicate an underlying systemic condition for example diabetes or even be a cancerous lesion.
Management and prevention of mouth sores
Management can be done at home. Mix two tablespoons of salt in a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it three times a day. This is what is also called a saline rinse. For prevention, ensure that you are gentle with the things you put into your mouth and even when you are using your mouth to prevent trauma. In case you notice any dubious changes, please see a professional for assistance as early as you can.