Do you ever feel like there’s something in your mouth, between your teeth, or poking your gums that suddenly causes tenderness or swelling? These are both common indications of mouth inflammation which is typically a precaution of an oncoming oral infection or hidden injury.
However, sometimes you may not even be aware of the mild inflammation in your mouth or you’re unsure how to handle it. Being aware of the different causes of oral inflammation can help reduce the risk of future health problems and allow you to find the right care you need to relieve the discomfort.
Two Types of Oral Inflammation
Our mouths are an extremely important part of our bodies, and knowing how to properly care for your oral health can be a huge contributing factor in your overall well being. Inflammation initially helps heal an area of your body that’s been injured, but if your body is unable to naturally restore itself, there may be some additional complications you’ll experience.
There are two types of inflammation that you should be aware of that can help you determine whether or not it may be a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. The two kinds of inflammation are:
- Acute: This is a mild form of inflammation that may occur after you’ve burned the roof of your mouth with scorching soup and has caused red, swollen tissue. Acute inflammation will typically heal within a few days and any pain will be gone.
- Chronic: A more serious form of inflammation that lasts longer and is a possible contributor to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer. Chronic inflammation is most commonly caused by gum disease because your body is attempting to remove the infection-causing bacteria from your mouth.
Have You Noticed Inflammation in Your Mouth?
When you first notice possible symptoms of oral inflammation, you may see a puffy, swollen deep cut or sore. You may also feel a blistering or bruising sensation which might make you eager to seek a professional opinion. However, sometimes people don’t know about the inflammation in their mouth until their dentist recognizes it at their regular check-ups.
Signs of Inflammation
As a warning for future pain or disease, an area in your mouth may become inflamed prior to you identifying a problem. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are five major symptoms to look out for if you suspect inflammation, including:
- Limited function
What’s Causing Your Inflammation?
“Mouth inflammation is generally caused by injuries in the mouth such as burns, cuts from food, bites, or sores,” Dr. Abdullah Sayed states. These are minor causes and will typically heal within days. Tobacco chewers, smokers, and people with allergies may be more prone to experiencing inflammation.
However, fungal, bacterial, or viral infections such as herpes, syphilis, or candida can all generate swelling and blisters in the mouth which will need professional medical care to reduce its redness and pain. Additionally, patients with a systemic disease or anyone undergoing chemotherapy or radiation may also notice any of the five most common symptoms of inflammation.
When To Seek Treatment
When you first notice possible symptoms of oral inflammation, you may see a puffy, swollen deep cut or sore. You may also feel a blistering or bruising sensation which might make you eager to seek a professional opinion.
If you notice any unfamiliar inflammation inside your mouth that has stopped you from getting through your normal, daily activities such as eating, drinking, swallowing, or speaking, you should see a dentist immediately. A comprehensive dentist like Dr. Brian Klym can help relieve your discomfort, examine your mouth, and determine if your swelling is a minor result or sign of a more serious condition.
Types of Treatment
Once your dentist discovers the source of the inflammation, he may provide you with different types of treatment depending on the cause. Some examples of treatment and tips to avoid further harm to your inflammation are:
- Antibiotics for infections
- Avoiding substances that cause sores
- Gentle toothbrushing & salt-water rinses
- Staying away from acidic & salty foods
- Protective coatings
Risks of Untreated Inflammation
Stomatitis is a condition inside the mouth that causes painful swelling and sores on the lips which may be caused by disease, infection, allergies, or irritating substances. It should be treated by a professional doctor and method will vary depending on the cause.
Small, painful ulcers typically on the tongue or the inside of your cheeks, lips, or throat are called canker sores. Unlike cold sores, canker sores can clear up on their own within one to two weeks with consistent mouth rinses. If they don’t clear up on their own and medical attention is needed, you can receive cream or oral medication to help.
Also known as gum disease, this oral infection can completely destroy your oral health and lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The best way to protect your gums and avoid tooth loss is by seeing a professional like Dr. Todd Martin who can reverse the negative effects.
Reduce Your Redness
The best way to receive proper care for your oral inflammation is always by seeing a doctor and discussing any changes in your mouth with them. It can help them identify the root of your unusual puffiness and allow them to find out if there’s a bigger health concern. Don’t ignore the inflammation in your mouth– be proactive about finding help so you can protect not only your oral health but your overall wellness too.