FAQ CATEGORIES

Sores In The Mouth 2

A very common dental issue that people perceive as an emergency, and probably the only non-painful one at all, is the appearance of sores in the mouth. They are unpleasant, unsightly, and are scarier to behold than, for instance, swollen gums or a cavity on a tooth. But usually they do not constitute a problem. The real issue is that just by looking at the sore itself, it is difficult to know if you are dealing with a canker sore, or a cold sore, or the formation of oral cancer. This is why I have made this little guide that can help you with finding out what exactly you are dealing with.

In our previous segment, we dealt with the less serious, but troublesome ailments that can befall us when we have some sore sin our mouth. This time around, I would like to discuss the more serious problems that sores can be a sign of. 

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is basically an infection of candida albicans -the same fungus that gives rise to yeast infections, foot fungus and a whole host of other problems- in the mouth. It usually only affects babies, but can affect absolutely anyone, particularly if the immune system is weakened, so AIDS patients, cancer patients, and anyone who has been suffering from a prolonged illness is at stake, as are the elderly, pregnant women and those of us with eating disorders, as the immune system is considerably weaker when it does not have enough nutrients to support itself. 

Thrush is usually only used for pseudomembranous candida infections. Candida infections can take on several forms, they can appear as raw spots on the tongue, as a white plaque that does not rub off, or the classic oral thrush, which is a layer of white material on the tongue, and this is called pseudomembranous candidiasis. The picture above is of this type. This will go away with antibiotics, and it can be removed surgically as well, but antibiotics still need to be taken, as the roots of this fungal infection are well below the visible scale, and are quite persistent, too. 

Oral Cancer

The arrest and worst news you can have is a tumor in your mouth. Sadly, there are certain tumors which are almost always cancerous. The sides of the tongue and the floor of the mouth usually only produce cancerous tumors, for some reason. Cancers can also grow on the lip, or the cheek lining as well. The tumor may seem like a lesion at first, but of course it will not go away, and it will continue to increase in size. Oral cancer has a very high rate of metastasis, so if your lesion or ulcer does not resolve in 14 days, go to an oral surgeon immediately.