Mouth sores are very common–most of us will have one kind or another at one time of our life. The spots can be located anywhere from the outer edges of the lips to the back of the throat. Usually, they are nothing to worry about, but let’s look at a few things to be aware of just in case you have a sore that needs more attention:

1. Sores that last more than 10-14 days. If you have a lesion that persists beyond the two week mark, you should have your dentist evaluate it. Most benign lesions resolve within 7-14 day, many of the more problematic lesions may persist beyond that time frame.

2. Sores so painful that you cannot sleep. If the lesion causes a little pain, especially when eating or drinking, that can often be normal. If the pain is so bad that you cannot rest or think about anything else, see a doctor immediately.

3. Persistent bleeding. Some oral lesions, such a food abrasions or food burns, can lead to some minor oral bleeding. If your bleeding persists beyond a few hours, please follow up with your doctor or dentist.

4. The sore begins after you begin a new medication. This may be due to a reaction from the medication, and you physician needs to know about it as soon as possible.

5. You have other symptoms, like fever, skin rash, difficulty swallowing or breathing. These other symptoms may mean you have a more serious condition that needs attention quickly.

If none of the above apply, you most likely have an ordinary mouth sore. Here are some things to do to make the recovery easier:

  • Avoid very hot beverages and foods, spicy and salty foods, and acidic foods like lemon or vinegar.
  • Gargle with cool water. This is especially helpful if you have a food burn.
  • Take pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (ask your doctor which is appropriate for you).
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.