If we neglect our oral hygiene, it can create multiple alarming conditions and infections within your mouth, of which bad breath, oral cancer, TMJ and canker sores are only a few to name. Some of these conditions are harmless and painless, while others cause excruciating pain and discomfort.
In this article, we will walk you through some of the most common ailments that occur in your mouth.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Cold Sores
Cold sores, commonly known as fever blisters, are not caused by colds or fevers, but in fact, they can be induced by them.
Cold sores are typically caused when a virus is exchanged by sharing utensils, maintain close contact and kissing. It can be healed by over-the-counter ointments and topical medication, which will alleviate the pain. If the sores are persistent, you should consult a dentist for an examination.
2. Bad Breath
When we forget to brush our teeth, food particles surround our teeth and encourage the growth of bacteria, along with creating bad breath. If you are consistently suffering from bad breathe or have an awful taste in your mouth, the reason could be persistently breathing from your mouth, tooth decay, or a dry mouth.
Bad breathe can also be regarded as a symptom of gum disease, or even chronic ailments, such as diabetes. You can eliminate bad breathe by regularly brushing your teeth and tongue, adopting a flossing regime, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. Be sure to obtain clean drinking waters and all food items that trigger bad breath. If it continues to persist, consult a dentist.
A thrush, triggered by candida yeast, typically occurs amongst babies or older adults. Candida yeast can be worsened by consuming antibiotics and certain medications, including inhaled corticosteroids, while a weak immune system, and diabetes can also worsen the condition.
If you wipe away the patches of thrust, it will lead to severe soreness. It is highly advisable to consult a dentist immediately.
4. Lichen Planus
Lichen planus can be described as a lacy and distinctive rash, which can either feature white patches, or glossy red bumps that typically emerge inside the tongue or even the cheeks. It can also occur within your skin, nails, genitals and scalp. Medical research has yet to discover the exact cause, however, research reveals that mild cases of lichen planus does not require treatment or medication.
However, it is aching or triggering the formation of ulcers, you can treat it with topical and oral medicines. It is important to note that oral lichen planus has tendencies to become chronic, and can even put you at risk for oral cancers.
5. Canker Sores
The exact cause behind the tiny and agonizing blisters that occur within the mouth is unknown, but they are commonly induced by infections, stress, hormonal imbalances and hypersensitivity, along with a deficiency of certain vitamins.
Canker sores, medically termed as aphthous ulcers, can emerge on the gums, cheeks and even the tongue, and they tend to last for around a week or two. You can use dental lasers, prescribed medicines and pain numbing creams to treat them.
6. Chipped Teeth
Excessive teeth clenching or grinding, eating too many hard candies, snacking on ice, and exposure to excessive heat and cold can cause breakages, cracks and chips to emerge in your teeth. Now, tiny cracks and chips are not a cause for much concern.
However, a bigger crack can cause excessive pain, and even lead to permanent tooth damage. A dentist can help you explore several options, such as tooth contouring, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns to firm up heavily impaired teeth.
Periodontitis is the secondary stage of gum infection or gum disease. It triggers an increase in inflammation, causing your gums to lessen, and creating pockets between your gums and teeth. These pockets get filled up with plaque, food particles and tartar, which gradually builds up infections and abscesses.
As it reaches an advanced stage, a gum infection can pose serious damages to the bone that holds the teeth, and it happens to be one of the greatest causes of tooth loss amongst adults. If your gums are receding, it is highly advisable to consult a dentist immediately.
8. Aspirin Burn
Most people believe that an aspirin can aid in curing a toothache, however, the awful truth is that allowing your cheek to be exposed to an aspirin can result in a painful burn. Instead of alleviating your toothache, the acid content in aspirin will burn a white and scratchy lesion into your cheeks or gums.
You can prevent this by swallowing the aspirin instead of swashing it around in your mouth. And if you end up suffering an aspirin burn, the only thing that can heal it is time, around two weeks to be exact.
9. Geographic Tongue
Often, when some patches of the tongue lose their tiny bumps, it creates a disarranged appearance of raised and lowered spots, creating a map-like structure on your tongue. These spots can alter their patterns, sizes and location within hours, and in some cases, minutes.
However, it is important to know that a map-like tongue is a harmless condition and will disappear or reappear on its own. It doesn’t typically require a treatment, but if you are experiencing pain, you can choose some over-the-counter pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain.
10. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome
The temporomandibular joint syndrome, more commonly known as TMJ, is a jaw-related condition that can trigger severe pain in your jaw, neck, ear or face. The TMJ syndrome can be caused by excessive tooth grinding, mouth clenching and injuries, amongst other causes.
However, its symptoms typically remain the same, including severe pain, swallowing troubles, headaches, and dizziness. Dentists commonly recommend a mouth guard, moist heat exposure, rest and medication, however, in certain cases, a surgery can be recommended as well.
11. Black Hairy Tongue
A painless oral problem that develops when the small bumps on the tongue grow to become longer. These longer bumps entrap bacteria living within your mouth, causing the tongue to become hairy and black. This condition is triggered by multiple common causes, including lack of proper dental hygiene, excessive smoking, using antibiotics, consuming excessive amounts of coffee or tea, and not generating sufficient amounts of saliva.
This condition can be effectively treated by rigorously brushing your tongue with a tongue scraper, however, dentists also prescribe some medicines to eliminate the bacteria.
12. Cavities, Abscesses & Discoloration
If you want to prevent common dental problems, like tooth discoloration, abscesses, and cavities from occurring, you must create a regular and vigilant brushing and flossing regime, alongside regular dental examinations. If you have a painful toothache, don’t neglect it for too long.
You see, dental infections can spread the bacteria to your face, the skull and even within your bloodstream. Be sure to consult a dentist without wasting any time if your tooth is aching persistently, and you are suffering earaches, fever, or if your mouth aches while opening it widely.
13. Amalgam Tattoo
Have you ever seen a tiny bluish-gray stain tucked away in a soft corner of your mouth after a regular dental checkup? This stain is known as amalgam tattoos, and these tattoos occur when a small piece of amalgam filling gets stuck inside your gum or cheek.
The silver present in the amalgam gets embedded within the soft tissues of your mouth, creating a tiny tattoo-like stain. These stains are harmless, however, if the color is any other than blue-gray, it is highly likely that your stain is not an amalgam tattoo and you should consult your dentist immediately.
14. Gum Disease
When the bacteria present in plaque builds up on the gum line, it leads to the development of periodontal gum disease. The earliest stage of a gum disease is known as gingivitis, and its symptoms include puffy, reddened and bleeding gums.
You can take preventive measures against the periodontal disease by adopting a strict oral hygiene. However, it can be worsened by excessive smoking, stress hormones and an unhealthy diet.
Leukoplakia can be considered a reaction to multiple irritants, including excessive smoking, ill-fitted dentures, coarse teeth, and smokeless tobacco. It is identified as a buildup plaques, or the emergence of white patches across your mouth.
The condition is typically devoid of pain, however, it can ignite the risk factors of cancer. If the white patches do not go away, alongside other symptoms, be sure to consult a dentist right away.
16. Lie Bumps
Folklore and fables reveal that when we tell a lie, it creates a tiny bump on the tongue, which are popularly known as lie bumps. However, medical science reveals that transient lingual papillitis can commonly occur, regardless of whether you lie or speak the truth. Even though these tiny bumps are harmless and they disappear on their own in a short amount of time, they cause a lot of discomfort.
Medical researchers have not be able to pin down the exact cause behind these small bumps, however, speculations state that they may be triggered by a food reaction or a minor trauma, even biting the tongue. They do not require any treatment, however, taking oral anesthetics will help alleviate the pain.
17. Oral Cancer
If you are suffering from a terrible mouth sore that just doesn’t seem to be cured, you have reason to worry about your oral health. The symptoms of oral cancer typically include swallowing problems, speaking disturbances, chewing problems, and indescribable numbness in your mouth, face or neck.
The most common causes of oral cancer are popularly identified as excessively smoking cigarettes, heavy consumption of alcohol, chewing tobacco or using smokeless tobacco products, excessive exposure to the sun, and a family history of cancers.
Research has discovered an association between oral cancer and the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor immediately as identifying oral cancer in its earliest stages allows a successful treatment.