Call before noon and be seen on the same day!

Call 770-955-2505 Schedule Appointment

Understanding Mouth Sores and When to See Your Dentist

woman with jaw or tooth pain

Mouth sores, those pesky and often painful intruders, can turn basic activities like eating, talking, or even smiling into a daunting challenge. While most people experience a mouth sore at some point in their lives, understanding the different types, their causes, and most importantly, when to see a dentist, can help you navigate through the discomfort and towards a solution. At Riverwood Dental in Atlanta, we’re here to guide you through the murky waters of mouth sores, ensuring you know when it’s time to seek professional care.

Types and Causes of Mouth Sores

Mouth sores come in various shapes and sizes, and their causes are just as varied. Here are a few common types:

  • Canker Sores: Small, shallow ulcers that appear inside the mouth. Their exact cause is unknown, but they can be triggered by stress, minor injury to the mouth, acidic or spicy foods, and vitamin deficiencies.
  • Cold Sores: Also known as fever blisters, these are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They appear as painful blisters on the lips, under the nose, or around the chin and are highly contagious.
  • Leukoplakia: This condition leads to thick, white patches on the gums, the inside of the cheeks, and the bottom of the mouth. While not always painful, it can be a precursor to more serious conditions, including oral cancer.
  • Oral Thrush: A yeast infection in the mouth, presenting as creamy white lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes the roof of the mouth, gums, and tonsils.

When to See Your Dentist

While many mouth sores are harmless and will resolve on their own, there are certain situations when consulting your dentist at Riverwood Dental is crucial:

  • Persistent Sores: If you have a sore that doesn’t show improvement within two weeks, it’s time to seek professional advice. Persistent sores could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs attention.
  • Recurring Sores: Frequent outbreaks of sores, especially cold sores or canker sores, may require medical intervention to manage pain, reduce healing time, or address potential triggers.
  • Painful or Large Sores: Any sore that causes significant pain, discomfort, or is unusually large warrants a visit to the dentist. Pain relief and specific treatments can provide relief and prevent complications.
  • Signs of Infection: If your mouth sore is accompanied by signs of infection, including fever, swelling, or a feeling of heat around the sore, professional care is necessary to treat the infection and prevent it from spreading.
  • Difficulty Eating or Drinking: When sores significantly impact your ability to eat or drink, leading to dehydration or nutritional deficiencies, it’s important to get them checked.
  • Associated Symptoms: If mouth sores are part of a larger cluster of symptoms, such as rashes, joint pain, or eye inflammation, they could indicate a systemic condition that requires medical attention.

Prevention and Care

Good oral hygiene is the first step in preventing mouth sores. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can keep your mouth healthy and reduce the risk of sores developing. Additionally, avoiding spicy, acidic foods, and chewing tobacco can also help prevent irritation and the formation of sores.

Let Riverwood Dental Help

At Riverwood Dental in Atlanta, we understand how uncomfortable and concerning mouth sores can be. Our team is equipped to diagnose and treat various types of mouth sores, providing you with relief and peace of mind. Whether you need medication to manage a persistent sore, treatment for an infection, or simply advice on how to care for your mouth, we’re here to support your oral health.

If you’re dealing with a troublesome mouth sore, don’t wait for it to worsen. Contact Riverwood Dental today to schedule an appointment. Let us help you achieve a healthy, comfortable smile.

Posted on behalf of Riverwood Dental

3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta, GA 30339

Phone: Call 770-955-2505

Skip footer

Book Your Appointment

Your elegant smile is only one appointment away! Schedule your appointment with our office today to get started!


3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta, GA 30339

Opening Hours

Monday - Thursday 8am - 5pm Friday 8am - 2pm

Follow Us