Trench Mouth: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Although considered “the strongest muscle in the body,” the tongue comprises a muscle group that helps us swallow, talk and taste food. Healthy tongues are pink and spotted with tiny papillae.
If you’ve noticed a discoloration or sores on your tongue, call a dentist immediately. In Riverside County, Dr. Derek Hauser, DDs, can diagnose the cause of your tongue sores and develop an effective treatment plan.
Dr. Hauser has been at the forefront of the dental industry for more than 20 years. His practice offers a broad range of cosmetic and family dental services. Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!
Diagnosing Your Tongue Soreness
A sore tongue can be particularly difficult to diagnose. The cause of canker sores, for instance, is unknown. But some conditions result from poor oral hygiene, which leads to periodontitis.
There are several stages of periodontitis, or gum disease. It starts with gingivitis, which is characterized by inflamed, red or bleeding gums. Eventually, oral tissue can die, the jaw bone can deteriorate and teeth can fall out.
But this process is preventable and even reversible with regular dentist visits and a responsible oral-care routine.
Trench Mouth Can be Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene
This condition is an advanced form of gum disease. Symptoms include infected, bleeding, painful gums and ulcers. The condition is rare in developed nations with hygienic living conditions.
The disease is so named because it was common among World War I soldiers who fought in the trenches. Many did not have access to dental-care products, so periodontitis was common.
Although not contagious, gum disease can be a precursor to tooth loss. Oral-health problems can be serious threats to your overall health. In fact, tongue discoloration is a symptom of oral cancer, vitamin deficiencies and AIDS; so, if you believe that you might have an oral-health problem, schedule a dental appointment immediately.
Poor Oral Health Isn’t the Only Cause of Tongue Soreness
Although most oral discomfort is the result of bad hygiene, there’s more than one cause of a sore tongue, including:
- Burning tongue syndrome: This is common among post-menopausal women. It causes a burning sensation on the tongue.
- Trauma: Accidentally burning or biting your tongue can cause soreness. Clenching and grinding your teeth can cause irritation on the side of the tongue.
- Smoking: Excessive smoking can cause irritation.
- Enlarged papillae: Taste buds can become swollen, causing painful bumps on the tongue.
- Oral cancer: Although uncommon, you should seek medical attention if you notice symptoms of oral cancer. It is characterized by a sore or lump on the tongue that doesn’t dissipate within two weeks. The lump might not hurt at first, so don’t let a lack of irritation dissuade you from seeking medical advice.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as anemia and diabetes, can cause tongue soreness.
- Canker sores: The cause of these ulcers that form on the tongue is not known, but stress is thought to be a principal cause.
Canker Sores Are among the Most Common Causes of Tongue Soreness
Canker sores can make talking and eating uncomfortable.
There are two types:
- Simple: These appear up to 4 times each year and last about 1 week. They are common in people between the ages of 10 and 20.
- Complex: These tend to develop in people who already have had canker sores. They are less common than simple canker sores.
Tissue injury and stress are thought to cause canker sores. If one develops, avoid certain foods, such as acidic vegetables and citrus fruits.
Canker sores and cold sores are not the same. Cold sores, or fever blisters, are symptoms of herpes simplex type 1. It causes fluid-filled, painful blisters to form in groups. They are highly contagious and often appear outside of the mouth, such as on the outer lips, nose or chin.
Common canker sore symptoms include:
- Sores inside the mouth
- Burning or tingling sensation before sores appear
- Sores are round and appear white or gray with a red border
In rare cases, people with canker sores also suffer from fever, lymph node pains and lack of energy.
Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry to Treat Your Sores
At Lakefront Family Dentistry, we will help you uncover the cause of your mouth sores and develop an effective treatment plan. If you have recurring tongue soreness, we can help.
Dr. Hauser is experienced in all manner of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you believe that you have trench mouth or another form of tongue sores, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!