What is stomatitis caused by?
Stomatitis is a general medical term used for an inflamed or sore mouth. The condition can cause pain and discomfort enough to make eating and talking difficult for you.
Stomatitis can occur anywhere in the mouth including
- Inside of the cheeks
Stomatitis can be caused by any of the factors that include
- Nutritional deficiency
- Injury from ill-fitting dental prosthetics (dentures and braces)
- Poor dental hygiene
- Accidental bites to the inside of the cheek, tongue or lip
- Cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiation therapy)
- Infections (viral, fungal or bacterial) such as
- Dry mouth
- Chewing tobacco
- Weakened immunity
- Behcet’s disease (a rare autoimmune disease that damages all the blood vessels in your body leading to mouth sores, genital ulcers, eye inflammation, etc.)
- Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)
- Lupus (an autoimmune disease that causes symptoms and signs such as a butterfly rash, arthritis, hair loss and ulcers of the nose and mouth)
- Medications such as
- Blood cancer
- Allergic reactions
- Burns due to hot food and drinks
What are the types of stomatitis?
Depending upon the appearance and cause, stomatitis is of two types
Canker sores most often have a red base with a yellow top. They are extremely painful and typically last for one to two weeks.
When canker sores go away and keep coming back, the condition is known as aphthous stomatitis. It is among the most common oral mucosal lesions physicians and dentists observe. Smaller ulcers heal within 7 to 10 days, whereas larger ulcers may last several weeks to months. The larger ones can leave a scar when healing.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by an infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV). They are fluid-filled blisters occurring in clusters. More than half of the people in the United States have cold sores.
Although cold sores can appear anywhere in the mouth, the lips are the most common location.
Unlike canker sores, cold sores are extremely contagious. They last for an average of 7 to 10 days.
Infection with HSV is a lifelong condition. Cold sores usually keep recurring.
How is stomatitis treated?
Your doctor will take your complete medical history and try to identify the cause of the stomatitis. If there is any allergy or infection, it will be treated accordingly.
Whatever the cause, doctors usually prescribe medications to relieve your pain and help heal sores. These include
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Ointments or gels for local application to reduce inflammation
- Saltwater mouthwash or mouth rinses (avoid alcohol-based mouthwash)
- OTC wax-based products for injuries from dental fittings
- OTC product called Kanka for creating a barrier layer over the ulcers to avoid pain
- OTC ointment or gel for cold sores
Apart from medications, you need to make certain dietary changes. Avoid food that is very spicy or very hot because these may further irritate the mucous membranes. Improve your nutrition by consuming lots of fruits and vegetables and whole-grain cereals. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep your mouth moist and for adequate hydration.
Visit the doctor as soon as possible for stomatitis that
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