Types of StomatitisTypes of stomatitis include:
- Canker sore: A cancer sore, also known as an aphthous ulcer, isa single pale or yellow ulcer with a red outer ring or a cluster of such ulcers in the mouth, usually on the cheeks, tongue, or inside the lip.
- Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are fluid-filled sores that occur on or around the lips. They rarely form on the gums or the roof of the mouth. Cold sores later crust over with a scab and are usually associated with tingling, tenderness, or burning before the actual sores appear.
- Mouth irritation. The irritation can be caused by:
- Biting your cheek, tongue, or lip.
- Wearing braces or another type of dental apparatus, or having a sharp, broken tooth.
- Chewing tobacco.
- Burning one's mouth from hot food or drinks.
- Having gum disease (gingivitis) or other type of mouth infection.
- Having hypersensitivities to certain agents, such as foods or medicines.
- Having certain autoimmune diseases affecting the mucosal lining of the mouth, such as lupus, Crohn's disease, or Behcet's disease.
- Taking certain drugs such as chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics, medications used for rheumatoid arthritis, or epilepsy medications.
- Receiving radiation as part of cancer treatment.
Symptoms of Stomatitis: Canker Sores and Cold SoresCanker sore symptoms include:
- sores that can be painful
- sores usually last 5 to 10 days
- sores tend to recur
- sores are generally not associated with fever
- sores are usually painful
- sores are usually gone in 7 to 10 days
- sores are sometimes associated with cold or flu-like symptoms
Causes of Stomatitis: Canker Sores and Cold SoresCanker Sores
Nobody knows what exactly causes canker sores, but many factors may contribute to their development, such as certain medications, trauma to the mouth, poor nutrition, stress, bacteria or viruses, lack of sleep, sudden weight loss, and certain foods such as potatoes, citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, cheese, and nuts.
Canker sores may also be related to a temporarily reduced immune system because of a cold or flu, hormonal changes, or low levels of vitamin B12 or folate. Even biting the inside of the cheek or chewing a sharp piece of food can trigger a canker sore.
Canker sores may result from a genetic predisposition and are considered an autoimmune disease; they are not contagious.
About 20% people in the U.S. will have canker sores at some point during their lifetime -- women more often than men.
Cold Sores and Fever Blisters
Cold sores and fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Unlike canker sores, cold sores and fever blisters are contagious from the time the blister ruptures to the time it has completely healed. The initial infection often occurs before adulthood and may be confused with a cold or the flu. Once the person is infected with the virus, it stays in the body, becoming dormant and reactivated by such conditions as stress, fever, trauma, hormonal changes (such as menstruation), and exposure to sunlight.
When sores reappear, they tend to form in the same location. In addition to spreading to other people, the virus can also spread to another body part of the affected person, such as eyes or genitalia.