Stomatitis (also called dental stomatitis) is not a specific disease or condition, but an umbrella term for painful sores or lesions in the mouth. Identifying the cause of your stomatitis is the first step to finding relief from irritation and pain.
1. Denture Stomatitis
One common cause of stomatitis is related to denture use. It is usually caused by a fungus that grows around the denture and flourishes in the mouth, but denture stomatitis can also be related to:
- Improperly fitting dentures
- Poor denture hygiene
- Allergy to the denture
If you suffer from sores or a foul taste in your mouth, consult your cosmetic dentist about anti-fungal treatment. He or she can also reline your dentures if they no longer fit correctly or make a new denture if the original is causing irritation.
2. Chronic Canker Sores
You might have suffered from canker sores for years, but you might not have realized this condition comes with a name. When you experience chronic canker sores over a period of months or years, it is considered a form of stomatitis.
If you experience canker sores on a regular basis, you aren't alone. Almost 24% of people who have these sores get them more than twice a month, and more than 60% report the pain as strong or very strong.
Since dentists and researchers don't know exactly what causes canker sores, the treatment options vary. Ask your dentist about the best source of pain relief, from over-the-counter medications to prescription ointments and anti-microbial treatments.
3. Tissue Injuries
Sometimes stomatitis is caused by a tissue injury to your gums or the insides of your cheeks. If you accidentally bite your cheeks, for example, the resulting redness and inflammation cause pain.
Unfortunately, tissue injuries often perpetuate themselves. The tissue swells, which makes the area much easier to accidentally bite while talking, drinking, or eating. Taking extra care to avoid hitting the area with your teeth can end the cycle.
Additionally, tissue injuries can lead to bacterial infections in your mouth, especially if the injured area bleeds. If you have an open sore, visit your dentist immediately to discuss possible treatment options.
4. Rough Teeth
If one of your teeth breaks or cracks, the surface might become rough to the touch. When the tooth makes contact with your cheeks or tongue, it could cause irritation that leads to stomatitis.
One way to correct roughness in the surface of the teeth is through dental bonding. Your cosmetic dentist will smooth the tooth's surface with a bonding material, then shape it for improved aesthetic appeal.
Since a rough tooth is susceptible to decay, cracking, and other problems, consult a dentist immediately. For serious damage, your tooth might require a crown, or it could be extracted and replaced with an implant.
5. Food-Related Stomatitis
Sometimes stomatitis is caused by the foods or beverages you enjoy. Acidic foods, for example, are often linked with the irritation of cold sores, which means they can lead to chronic stomatitis.
Citrus fruits might prolong stomatitis caused by tissue injuries and canker sores, especially if you eat them while the sore is fresh. Additionally, sugary foods can complicate fungal infections in your mouth, such as thrush.
If you suffer from an un-diagnosed food allergy, your allergic reactions might cause stomatitis, as well. You might need to try an elimination diet if you feel that an allergy might be the culprit.
Regardless of the cause, stomatitis causes significant irritation and pain. If you suffer from oral discomfort, visit your dentist or make an appointment at a clinic like Bristol Dental Group immediately to determine the source of the pain and start a treatment plan. In many cases, a simple medication can eliminate symptoms and restore comfort in your mouth.