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There are different kinds of sores that can develop in the soft-tissue of your mouth. While commonplace, they may become uncomfortable. If this happens, you can solicit the advice of your dentist for treatment.

Cold sores are red, blister-like sores appearing around the mouth, under the nose, and on the chin. This is the herpes simplex virus, is incredibly contagious, and as yet has no cure. This means the virus stays in the body and will recur when your immune system is weakened. Initially, you may have flu-like symptoms when infected. Antivirus can be prescribed by your doctor to speed healing which is usually a week in length.

Canker sores happen when there is some sort of trauma inside the mouth. They appear on the soft-tissue and are colored white, or gray, with a red outline. These are not contagious and will heal on their own. Over-the-counter topical medication can help with pain, although generally there is none.

Leukoplakia is a mottled-looking patch of whitish tissue that comes from an overgrowth of the cells. This toughened area is a response to an irritation of some kind. The typical sources of irritation are braces, dentures, nighttime chewing and sucking on the mouth tissues, anxiety, medication, etc. Tobacco has also been identified as a potential reason for leukoplakia. While generally it is benign and not a source of pain, leukoplakia has been associated with oral cancer and should be biopsied by your dentist if he suspects any issue.

Candidiasis: The technical term for “oral thrush,” this is a fungus produced yeast infection of the mouth due to poor health or immune system deficiency commonly found in the very young and the aged. Some medications can cause this, even antibiotics. It appears as a white patch that may become sore and even bleed. Properly oral hygiene and time off from wearing your dentures can help heal this. Also, antifungal medication prescribed by your doctor.

If you’ve developed mouth sores and need advice, call Drs. Bailey, Huff, and Stanley and our team at South Coast Family Dentistry. You can make an appointment at: 541-269-5353, or come by our office in Coos Bay, Oregon.