Pain in the Mouth: 9 Commonly Experienced Mouth Problems

Ever experienced having sores in your gum or a burn on your cheek? You’re in good company. A lot of people actually had dealt with a variety of mouth dilemmas, from uncomfortable cold sores to a more serious condition such as mouth ulcers. To give you a gist, we’ve listed down a few of the most common mouth problems that many of us may have had an experience with.

Cold sores

These small, fluid-filled blisters do not stem from colds or fevers. Rather, they are usually passed via a kiss or other direct skin contact. Typically, a cold sore goes away after a few days, but there are over-the-counter ointments and creams that can heal it faster and helps ease pain.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection caused by Candida fungus. It can affect anyone, but it most likely to occur in people who wear dentures or in babies. These patches are tough to remove so it’s best to see a dentist in Scottsdale for a diagnosis.

Black hairy tongue

An overabundance of bacteria and yeast that get trapped on the little bumps on your tongue called papillae results to a black hairy tongue. Causes of this painless condition can’t always be determined but may include smoking, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, certain antibiotics and breathing through the mouth. If it gets out of hand, medication may be necessary. However, all it usually takes are good, gentle scrubs to go away.

Mouth ulcers

These painful mouth blisters can appear on the cheek, gums, or tongue and usually last a week or two. Mild mouth ulcers can be treated with numbing gels, while persistent or severe ones may need further treatments.


Leukoplakia, thick, white patches that form in the gums, bottom of the mouth, or inside of the cheeks, is a mouth’s reaction to certain irritants such as rough teeth, smoking, and badly-fitting dentures. It can be sensitive to hot substances or to touch but generally are painless. Leukoplakia can be a precancerous condition so seek a dentist in Scottsdale if the patches are persistent.

Gum disease and periodontal disease

Gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease are results of an unkempt mouth, poor diet, stress, smoking and lots of other things. Be sure to make proper brushing and flossing a habit to avoid red, swollen or bleeding gums.

Aspirin burn

Next time, don’t let the aspirin nestle in your cheek because it burns a rough, white lesion into the cheeks or gums. If you happen to have one, just give it a few weeks to heal.

Cavities, abscesses & tooth discoloration

If you have severe toothaches, see your dentist right away. Although, these dental conditions may be prevented by regular brushing and flossing, they can spread to your skull, face, and bloodstream if treatments get delayed.

Bad breath

Bad breath can take root from a lot of causes, from dry mouth, and food debris left in the mouth to gum disease and diabetes. Fight halitosis with good hygiene habits, and healthy food intake.

Fight off Bad Breath

Whether it’s because of what you had for lunch or due to some health problems such as diabetes or a systematic infection, we all want one thing: Prevent bad breath from setting in.

Make Water Your After-Meal Drink

Stay away from acidic beverages like soda, coffee and alcohol. These drinks can trigger the release of bad odor through your breath.
Instead, swish your mouth with or drink water after your meals. It will not only freshen your mouth, it will also help eliminate plaque, a nasty bacterial buildup on your teeth.

Brush and Floss

Beat germ-caused bad breath by paying close attention to good dental hygiene. The gum line and teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria that cause halitosis. So make sure you floss once a day and brush thoroughly at least twice a day.

Don’t Forget Your Tongue

While there are some bacteria on your tongue that protects against rancid breath, other bacteria types on your tongue produce pervasive odor as they accumulate. Hence, it always is safer to include your tongue when brushing your teeth. Scrubbing it with a tongue cleaner would help scrape food debris from its rough surface.

Don’t Rely on Mints

Masking bad breath by popping mints is to covering up body odor by spritzing cologne. It just does not last and is not good hygiene practice. Although it may work for a short amount of time and can be your go-to breath refresher, you can’t and should never make it habit. Remember: gums and mint candies do not kill bacteria in your mouth, they only mask them.

Use Natural Remedies

Keep green tea packets stashed in your cupboard. Studies suggest that green tea has antibacterial compounds that fight off germs in your mouth keeping your breath fresh. Some other natural cures for halitosis include cinnamon, parsley, cilantro, mint, dill and basil.

See a Dentist

Know the cause/s of your foul-smelling breath and get to the root of it. Stinky breath can arise from a simple meal that you had for breakfast to a more serious variety of causes like respiratory disease or kidney reflux. Whatever the reason may be, seeing your Scottsdale dentist and taking on their advice is the best solution there is.

Dry Mouth – Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Dry mouth is a problem that is faced by many. Often not recognized easily, it is a situation where the saliva that lubricates the membrane of the mouth is significantly reduced. In medical terms it is known as Xerostomia.

Why Dry Mouth Occurs

What we usually take for granted, the saliva is actually an important discharge by the body. It is important as it provides a natural resource to cleanse your mouth of leftover food particles, plaque, infections and harmful loose bacteria floating around in the mouth. Needless to say it is irritating and a problem that could get serious if not attended. It is imperative to make sure that your mouth is moist with saliva and your body produces as much as four cups of saliva on a daily basis.

Typically there are various reasons for suffering from Xerostomia or dry mouth. It could be the side effects of medications, due to chemotherapy as a part of a treatment, infections or diseases that can affect the salivary gland, dehydration, Sjogrens Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and other autoimmune issues that could lead to this problem. It could also be due to bad dietary habits.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

There are various symptoms of Xerostomia or dry mouth problems.

  • Itching and a burning sensation on the tongue and in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Periodontal problems
  • Chances of decay and cavity setting in
  • Trouble grinding the food and swallowing it
  • Change in sensitivity
  • Extreme dryness in and around the mouth

That being said, it is not an issue that cannot be cured. Small changes in your diet, avoiding caffeine rich food and drinks, abstaining from intake of alcohol and smoking tobacco can work wonders. In addition, drinking lots of water everyday will help improve conditions. Rinsing your mouth after every meal well enough will also significantly reduce the chances of infections setting in and keep you feeling clean inside out and help eradicate the problem.

Are Breathing Problems a Symptom of Periodontal Disease?

Lately research has proven that sound oral health can be the key to sound overall health as well. The mouth is often referred to as the hotbed of germs. These germs can affect the health in more ways than one. Recently in a study in the Journal of Periodontology it has been seen that some of the people suffering from various breathing problems can attribute it to gum disease.

What Breathing Problems are Associated?

Illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchial problems, respiratory infections, lung disease, and emphysema can be due to prolonged or ignored periodontal problems. These are serious breathing problems that can get fatal if it is allowed to persist.

What is the Cause?

The bacteria in the oral region and the inflammation caused therein have been attributed to be the common cause for these respiratory issues. The bacteria in the lungs is picked up and transported directly to the lungs while inhaling. As is common knowledge bacteria grows by leaps and bounds, and therefore multiplies attacking the lungs. The result is pneumonia.

Often for those who have a weak immune system , the bacteria makes things worse as that is the germinating point for other disease as well. The other part of the story is that bacteria also gets into the lungs through the gum tissues and travels to the different parts of the body causing inflammation and infections in those parts.

Controlling Breathing Problems

Research has shown that if the bacteria in the mouth can be controlled, the chances of pneumonia would also be significantly reduced. If you notice a persisting periodontal problem accompanied by slight or severe respiratory or breathing problems, it may be time to call on a dentist. The periodontal infection may be spreading into the lungs and can be a restricting factor to your good health. Your organs and the parts of your body are connected, so it’s not just about being healthy and fit in parts. It is about overall well-being and feeling good.

Oral Heath in Relation to Heart Disease

For a very long time it was hard to believe that there could be a connection between heart disease and that of oral hygiene. Over a decade and after research, medical experts have seen that there is a connection between the two in more ways than one.

One may have wondered as to how it would affect the heart. Oral infection, gum disease, or any bacterial infection that germinates in the mouth not only causes problems in the mouth, but also enters the blood stream directly and then affects the heart. Once the bacteria launch themselves on the tissues, it attacks the heart and evolves in the form of coronary heart problems. Other heart illnesses such as infective endocarditis, which is a serious infection of the lining of the heart, can occur.

Oral infection is mainly due to bacterial attacks. Poor oral hygiene, like irregular brushing or flossing, eventually leads to the decay of the food particles that are hidden in the crevices in between the teeth. It results in gum infections and bad breath. It is seen that anaerobic bacteria affects the gums and the bones that lie under it. It may not be evident on the face of the tooth, but the bacteria could travel down to the heart from the blood stream.

How Can You Tell if Your Gums are Affected?

Typically healthy gums are a delicate pink and rather firm to touch. Once they are infected, they change to a dirty pink color and almost feel like rotten fruit. They are mushy and can also become very sensitive. They can start bleeding at the slightest touch. Eventually the infection causes the teeth to loosen and fall out over a period of time.
It is therefore imperative to brush and floss your teeth after every major meal. Pay heed to a healthy and a balanced diet. Lastly, visit the dentist regularly and get your teeth and gums checked to avoid heart or any oral problems.

Oral Health and Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing problem among people in North America which can negatively affect any part of the body if it is treated improperly. This condition is known to cause poor blood circulation, reduce white blood cell count, increase the chances of serious infections, and can also lead to the loss of limbs. Keep reading to learn about how suffering from diabetes can lead to oral health problems and what every diabetic can do to prevent them.

Oral Health and Diabetes: How You’re Affected

We mentioned that white blood cell counts are often severely decreased in people with diabetes, meaning that their body’s ability to fight infection is less efficient than someone who is not affected by diabetes. This impaired ability to fight infections can lead to severe periodontitis. Many diabetics are also likely to produce less saliva than is necessary to regulate the oral bacteria which cause tooth decay and gum disease.

How to Maintain Oral Health as a Diabetic

The best thing that any diabetic can do to maintain oral health is to properly monitor and manage their blood sugar levels every day. Another important part of managing diabetes is to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly to promote good blood circulation throughout their body.

Diabetics should also stay on top of proper oral hygiene techniques by brushing, flossing, and using a non-alcohol based mouth rinse at least twice each day to fight plaque and prevent their chances of developing gum disease.

Regular oral health screenings are immensely important for everyone, especially diabetics. Schedule an appointment today at Dental Studio 101 for a full oral health examination.

Oral Cancer – Symptoms and Awareness

When cancer originates and spreads in the mouth and the throat region, it is known as oral cancer. Oral cancer can be easily detected and can also prove to be fatal if left untreated for a long period of time.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

The first and the most prominent signs of cancer is bleeding. It may be initially be construed as gum problems like gingivitis or the onset of an infection. The bleeding can be heavier than one would normally see while brushing or flossing if one was infected by gingivitis or other gum infections. Dentists recommend an x-ray to fathom the problem. Cancer is diagnosed once x-rays and tests are conducted.

An open sore that does not heal easily inside the mouth can be a sign of a cancerous sore. Sometimes a bump which may seem abnormal and does not go away can also be a cause of worry. The lump may be a small tumor which may be malignant and can be the cause of oral cancer as well.

The problem can be manifested by a change in the voice. The voice box will become affected and can lead to a change in the tone of voice or even loss of voice should the cancer spread. In addition, swallowing and chewing could be a problem. Often these symptoms may be misconstrued as tonicities, strep throat, or another form of throat infections.

The lump in the oral region could be attributed to rash of some kind. Medications may be prescribed, but if the problem is a first stage of cancer, the medications will fail to have any effect.

Causes of Oral Cancer

If one wants to do away with the possibilities of oral cancer, one has to bring about a change in lifestyle, including diet and habits. It has been found that excessive consumption of tobacco and cigarettes can be a very potent cause of cancer. The tar in the nicotine can affect the lungs and cause cancer. It has been researched that cigarettes and tobacco products contain carcinogens, which are the most potent causes of cancer.

April is considered to be an oral cancer awareness month around the world. Life is beautiful if one lives it healthy and hearty. Giving up tobacco and smoking is a small sacrifice in comparison to living and enjoying life and being cancer-free.

About The Author

Dr. Koch

Dr. Robert Koch

Dr. Robert Koch earned a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University. Dr. Koch’s patient-first approach to dentistry is rooted in education for both himself and his patients. Staying up to date with the latest advances in dentistry allows him to offer the best treatment plans for his patients. He aims to educate and inform patients in a comforting environment that allows patients to feel confident in the decision-making process of their treatment.