The mouth can be one of the most frustrating places to experience pain. After all, you need it to breathe, eat and talk. When you shut down the mouth, you really make the necessities of day to day living much more difficult. Today, we will track through some of the more common causes of pain in the mouth so that you can be fighting fit in no time.
Ulcers are the name given to those small irritating sores that line your throat, tongue or inner lip.
Causes: You can pick up an ulcer from biting the area. This open wound can then develop into an ulcer. You can also develop ulcers from being constantly stressed, as your body’s immune system is weaker in these moments.Ulcers can also be the result of certain spicy foods that might irritate the lining of your mouth, and finally, you can get an ulcer if you don’t have enough B2, iron or folate in your diet.
Treatment: Of course, it is always best to deal with the root cause before you go running for mouth ulcer gel. If you can address the stress or the deficiencies of the diet, you are nipping the problem in the bud. But when you are in the thick of it, mouth ulcer gel is a godsend. It contains a numbing agent like benzocaine or lidocaine so that you aren’t constantly feeling the pain, and also gets an antiseptic in there to begin healing the ulcer itself by forming a protective barrier across the top. If the mouth ulcer gel does nothing to relieve symptoms, you should seek medical advice, as this could be signposting towards more serious concerns like bowel disease, or celiac.
You might have heard these referred to as tooth cavities. Anyone who has spent much time in the dentist’s chair knows that these are nothing to be sneezed at.
Symptoms: Tooth sensitivity or ache will often be the first sign of decay. As it begins to worsen, you might experience mild discolouration and halitosis (bad breath).
Causes: You might have too much of a certain kind of bacteria in your mouth that attacks the enamel that keeps your teeth strong. Alternatively, you might have too much sugar and starch in your diet. This would include: lollies, soft drinks, or pasta, bread and chips. This can all be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene. Ever heard of plaque? This is actually a type of bacteria that quietly erodes your enamel.
Treatment: Make sure that you brush and floss at least twice a day. The general rule of thumb is that you should take about two minutes each time. But be careful that you don’t brush too hard. Otherwise, you can end up eroding the natural defences of your tooth. Your toothbrush shouldn’t be too stiff, and if you bleed every time you brush, you’re doing something wrong. Using mouthwash is also a great way of getting rid of that nasty bacteria that is causing your tooth to decay.
There are also lifestyle choices you can make to help address this problem. Manage your diet so that you aren’t overindulging in sugar or acidic foods. And visit your dentist every few months so they can help your baseline level of dental hygiene to remain healthy.
This is no one’s favourite topic, but let’s address the elephant in the room: We are talking about oral thrush and cold sores.
Oral Thrush: This is a fungal infection of the mouth and throat. Before you get too unnerved, it is actually just an overgrowth of a natural fungus found in that part of your body.
Symptoms: You might develop yellow or white patches on your tongue, throat, or cheeks. These areas might then become red and sore as a result. As the infection progresses, you will start to feel pain when you eat or swallow. No fun at all.
Treatment: You will usually need some antifungal medication to rid yourself of oral thrush. Failing that, you might need to level up to an antibiotic, but this is not common. In order to never ever get oral thrush again, you can lift your level of dental hygiene. Brush, floss and mouthwash twice a day, and your chances of this kind of infection taking hold again are much slimmer.
Cold sores: These are small blisters and cracked sores that appear on or around your lips. They can be painful, alternating between burning and tingling. It is actually the simple herpes virus (yes, the same virus as the sexually transmitted disease), and it is highly contagious. This could be from facial contact, sharing a utensil or a razor. Sadly, once you have contracted the virus, you are never rid of it. This is not to say that you will permanently have the blisters, but you will always have the potential to develop them if the conditions are right.
Triggers: First up, they can emerge in periods of extreme stress or anxiety. As if you needed anything else to worry about! When your body is under stress and fatigue, your immune system becomes compromised and the virus emerges once again. Certain medications can also cause a cold sore, as can exposure to sunlight.
Treatment: Aside from addressing those triggers and avoiding them, it is with you for life. However, the duration of the sores can be severely cut down by using cold sore cream. These topical antiviral creams tend to reduce the sore’s lifespan by 24 to 48 hours when compared to the placebo. When you’ve got a sore on your face, you will cherish even a single second of respite.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the various maladies that can affect your mouth. But these are three of the more common things that crop up from time to time, and the more you know about them, the more likely you are to avoid them. If you are ever in doubt, consult a healthcare professional.