Mouth Sores: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Mouth sores are a common problem for many people. These painful and sometimes uncomfortable ulcers can appear anywhere in the mouth, from the tongue to the inside of your cheek. They can range from minor and barely noticeable to large and very painful. This article will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for mouth sores.

What Causes Mouth Sores?

Mouth sores can be caused by various factors, including irritations from food or drink, infections, nutritional deficiencies, and certain medical conditions. For example, a disease such as herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) can cause mouth sores. Other common causes include allergies to certain foods or toothpaste; irritated gums; biting your cheek or tongue; dental work; braces; ill-fitting dentures; sharp teeth edges; harsh toothbrushes; smoking or tobacco use; and acidic foods.

Given the various possible causes of mouth sores, you should visit a dentist if you suspect that you have an issue with your dental health. A professional can help you identify the underlying cause and provide treatment options.

Different Kinds of Mouth Sore

Did you know there are different mouth sores, each with its own causes? From canker sores to cold sores, understanding the types of mouth sores and how they’re caused will help you avoid them. Let’s take a look at the most common types of mouth sores:

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. They are usually white or yellow, with a red border around them. Canker sores typically heal within two weeks without treatment but can last up to six weeks if left untreated. The exact cause is unknown, but specific triggers may contribute to their development, such as stress, certain foods, or hormonal changes. To prevent canker sores from forming, try avoiding foods that may trigger an outbreak and practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters on or near the lips and nose due to the herpes virus known as HSV-1. They tend to develop during physical or emotional stress, sun exposure, dehydration, fever, or illness. Cold sores typically go away within two weeks without treatment. Still, antiviral creams may reduce symptoms and speed up healing time. To prevent cold sore outbreaks from occurring in the first place, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and limit sun exposure when possible.

Aphthous Ulcers

Aphthous ulcers (also known as “canker sores”) are small round ulcers inside the cheeks or lips with a white or yellow center with a red border around them. These ulcers typically resolve on their own after several days without treatment; however, they may last for up to two weeks if left untreated. Common triggers for aphthous ulcers include stress, acidic foods (such as citrus fruits), nutritional deficiencies (such as vitamin B12 deficiency), certain drugs (such as aspirin), and allergies (to toothpaste).

Symptoms of Mouth Sores

mouth sore symptoms

The most common symptom of mouth sores is pain—sometimes severe pain—in the affected area. Other symptoms include redness, swelling, irritation, tenderness to the touch, difficulty eating and drinking due to pain, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in some cases. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, as some sores may indicate more severe illnesses such as cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Treatments for Mouth Sores

There are several treatments available for mouth sores depending on their severity. The most important thing is to clean the area by brushing gently with toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). You should also avoid spicy foods that could further irritate the area. Antibacterial rinses may help reduce inflammation and prevent infection if prescribed by your doctor. Other remedies include using topical ointments such as lidocaine gel or benzocaine ointment, which can provide temporary relief from discomfort while healing takes place.

In addition to these treatments, taking vitamins and minerals such as B12 or zinc can help increase healing time and reduce inflammation. Lastly, it is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, which helps keep saliva levels balanced so that bacteria do not build up in your mouth, causing further irritation and infection risk.

The bottom line

Mouth sores are an uncomfortable but all too common problem for many people that can have a range of causes from infections to allergies to poor oral hygiene habits. Fortunately, there are several treatments available, ranging from topical ointments to vitamins and minerals, that help reduce inflammation while promoting healing at home without having to resort to medication or surgery in some cases. It’s crucial, however, to seek medical advice if any mouth sore persists longer than two weeks to rule out any underlying health concerns like cancer or HIV/AIDS before attempting any treatment plan since they could worsen without proper care!


The Author

Amelia Brown

Amelia Brown is an enthusiastic writer and a devoted parent who believes in the transformative power of shared knowledge. With a strong background in education and a flair for storytelling, Amelia brings a unique perspective to Family Badge. As a hands-on mother of three, she knows the joys and challenges of parenting inside out. When she's not crafting engaging articles for the blog, Amelia enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family, trying out new DIY projects, or cheering on her favorite sports teams. Her friendly and approachable style makes her an invaluable member of the Family Badge team, offering practical guidance and heartfelt insights to fellow parents on their journey of creating loving and thriving families.

About Family Badge


Family Badge inspires parents on the path to a thriving family life. Enhance your family's journey with practical tips and inspiration for creating a harmonious home, fostering educational growth, maintaining optimal health, managing finances, and enjoying quality recreation together.



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