Mouth Sores

For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. 

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.

 

Dizziness

The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement and all times — to keep you in balance. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires. Read More »

 

 

Ear Infection

The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain. Read More »

 

 

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss has a lot of different causes and manifestations. It can be sudden or gradual. It can occur in one ear or both ears. It can be temporary or permanent. It happens to people of all ages and is associated with the aging process. Before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss, it is important to understand how hearing works. Read More »

 

 

Mouth Sores

There are a variety of sores that can occur in or around the mouth. Most are benign, but some may be indicative of cancer.Read More »

 

 

Neck Pain

Neck pain is often a result of overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the neck from sports, recreational activities, work or household chores. It is generally characterized by stiffness, a kink or severe pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back and/or arms. Neck pain can also be caused by stress, trauma or injury or may be a symptom of the flu or meningitis. Read More »

 

 

Breathing Problems

The nose serves three primary functions: to warm, humidify and filter air as it passes into the body. Breathing problems may impact one or multiple of these functions. Breathing problems can be temporary or chronic, mild or severe, but they usually increase with age. Read More »

 

 

Snoring/Sleep Apnea

Snoring is a noise produced during sleep that originates in the back of the throat or nose. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth, tongue and throat relax while sleeping, which narrows or blocks the airway. Breathing causes your uvula (soft palate) to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in the snoring sound. Read More »

 

 

Sore Throat

Everyone experiences sore throats when they have a cold or flu. But there are other reasons for sore throats that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.Read More »

 

 

Head and Neck Cancers

Most head and neck cancers are relatively preventable since they are highly correlated with tobacco use and alcohol consumption. They are also generally curable if caught early. Symptoms to watch out for include pain swallowing, trouble breathing, ear pain, a lump in the neck that lasts longer than two weeks, a growth in the mouth and bleeding from the mouth, nose or throat.Read More »

 

 

Oral Cancers

Oral cancers appear as red or white patches of mouth tissue or small ulcers that look like a canker sores, but are painless. Oral cancers usually form on the tongue or floor of the mouth, but can occur on any tissue in and around the mouth.Read More »

There are a variety of sores that can occur in or around the mouth. Most are benign, but some may be indicative of cancer.

Canker Sores

These small, creamy white ulcers have a red border and always appear inside the mouth. Canker sores can be painful, but they are not contagious. They usually heal in one-to-two weeks. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter topical treatments can help reduce the pain.

Cold Sores

Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that form on the lips or around the mouth. Cold sores are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus, and are both contagious and painful. Fever, sunburn, trauma, hormonal changes or emotional upset can trigger their appearance. While there is currently no cure, cold sores can be treated with prescription ointments to help alleviate the pain. It is also important to wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing personal products to help prevent the spread of the infection to other people.

Candidiasis

Also known as oral thrush, this mouth sore is caused by a fungal infection. Painful red and cream-colored patches form on moist areas of the mouth. Candidiasis can cause difficulties with swallowing and taste. It is most commonly seen by denture wearers or people who have problems with their immune systems. Sometimes it occurs as a result of an unrelated antibiotic treatment, which can decrease normal bacterial development in the mouth. Saliva substitutes and antifungal creams are used to treat candidiasis.

White Patches

Chronic irritations inside the mouth, such as cheek chewing, dentures or braces, sometimes cause benign white patches to form inside the mouth. The treatment is to alleviate the irritation to allow for natural healing.

Leukoplakias

Leukoplakias consist of thick, white lesions that most commonly form beneath or around the tongue, cheeks or gums. Leukoplakias are painless, but can become cancerous over time. These mouth sores are most often seen in tobacco users. A biopsy may be needed to accurately diagnose leukoplakias.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancers appear as red or white patches of mouth tissue or small ulcers that look like a canker sores, but are painless. Oral cancers usually form on the tongue or floor of the mouth, but can occur on any tissue in and around the mouth. This includes cancers of the tonsils, adenoids, uvula (soft palate), roof of the mouth (hard palate), inside the lining of the cheeks, the gums, teeth, lips, the area behind the wisdom teeth and salivary glands. Some of these lesions may be benign, others may be malignant, and still others are precancerous. The most common type of precancerous cells in the mouth are:

  • Leukoplakias: Leukoplakias consist of thick, white lesions that most commonly form beneath or around the tongue, cheeks or gums. These mouth sores are most often seen in tobacco users.
  • Erythroplakias: These lesions appear as a red, raised area in the mouth and have a higher incidence of becoming malignant than leukoplakias.

A biopsy is often needed to diagnose leukoplakias and erythroplakias.

Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type of oral cancer. Less common are lymphoma and salivery gland cancers. Most oral cancers occur in people age 45 and older. When cancers of the mouth do metastasize, they are most likely to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.

If you have a mouth sore that won't heal, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.