Painless Red and White Sores in Mouth

White sores in mouth can appear on the roof, sides or even gums. Both babies and adults can get white sores or bumps in the mouth and throat. These can become red and painful. Here are the causes, pictures and remedies to help you get rid of the problem.

Mouth sores are common ailments that affect very many people in the world at some point in their lives. These sores can appear at any of the soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and floor and roof of the mouth. Although they are uncomfortable, they are usually harmless and most clear up by themselves within a very short period of time.

White sores in mouth
White sores in mouth

Mouth sores should never be confused with cold sores, which are small blisters that develop on the lips around the mouth. Cold sores often begin with tangling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth.

What causes white sores in your mouth

Most commonly, mouth sores are minor irritations which last a week or two and it is very hard for an individual to tell what causes these painless, white sores in your mouth. The triggers of this sores include hypersensitivity, infection, hormones, stress and not getting enough of some vitamins. Most single white mouth sores are caused by damage to the lining inside of the mouth. For example:

  • By accidentally the inside of your check or a sharp tooth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Hard foods
  • A defective filling

Furthermore, it’s not always clear white causes white mouth sores that keep on returning, but triggers are thought to include:

  • Hormonal changes – some women develop white mouth sores during their monthly period.
  • Eating certain foods – such as chocolate, spicy foods, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes and wheat flour.
  • Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Stopping smoking – when you first stop smoking, you may develop white mouth sores.
  • Genes – a good number of people who keep getting white mouth ulcers report that it runs in their family.

In some cases, however, they can indicate mouth cancer or an infection such as herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex causes cold sores, or fever blisters, and are highly contagious.

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Open sore in mouth roof

Open sores on the roof of your mouth, particularly those that don’t dissipate right away may ultimately be cold sores. This is a common growth caused by herpes simplex virus, cold sores are usually found on the lips but according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, they can also be found on the hard palate.

However, mouth sores are not common, but developing a sore on the roof of your mouth can still have you concerned. Nevertheless, the location of this sore has many possible sources, so you shouldn’t immediately assume the worst. In fact, if you have a sore on the roof of your mouth tissue, you may have one of these four conditions:

1. Burns

Bumps on the roof of your mouth are sometimes just a burn, particularly after a hot meal. This phenomenon is known as “pizza palate” because fresh slices of pizza are usually the cause of irritation in this part of the mouth. However, pizza isn’t the only food that can burn your mouth; any hot food can have this effect. Hot drinks, like coffee or tea, can lead to similar burns.

A burned palate usually heals by itself within three to seven days. To ease your discomfort in the meantime, stick to soft foods and cool drinks. If the pain is severe, your dentist may recommend using a product like Colgate to ease the sensation in your sores and promote quicker healing. If the area is still sore after seven days, don’t hesitate to see your dentist.

2. Canker Sores

Canker sores in mouth b
Canker sores

Canker sores can always develop on the inside of your cheeks, but don’t be surprised to feel them on the roof of your mouth as well. Cancer sores are round, sensitive masses whose origins depend on the case. Researchers think these sores may be caused by problems with the immune system, and are therefore triggered through factors like stress, certain foods and hormonal changes.

Generally, people will get one to three canker sores per instance, but some may develop upwards of 10 or even more sores at one time. These sores usually hurt for a little over a week, then disappear completely after two weeks. While you wait for your mouth to heal, you may benefit from eating bland foods to avoid irritating your sores. Of course, your dentist be also prescribe a pain-relieving gel for you to apply to your sores during the recovery process. If your sores haven’t healed after these two weeks, they should be checked out by your dentist.

3. Cold Sores

Sores on the roof of your mouth – particularly those that don’t dissipate right away – may ultimately be cold sores. A common growth caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are usually found on the lips, but according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, they can also be found on the hard palate. These sores present themselves as painful, fluid-filled blisters; the blisters later rupture and crust over as less-painful lesions.

Cold sores usually become crustier within four days of appearing, and will heal completely after eight to 10 days. While they’re healing, avoid touching or picking at them, just as you would for a scab. If the sores don’t go away by themselves, as you know, your dentist is happy to help.

4.  Oral Cancer

Although some of the sores that form on the roof of your mouth are harmless, not all of them are best left alone. Sores on the roof of your mouth can sometimes be a symptom of oral cancer. And if you have a sore on the roof of your mouth that hasn’t healed after two weeks, you need to see your dentist as soon as you can for an evaluation. Oral cancer is most treatable when it’s caught early, so it’s important to bring suspicious sores to your dentist’s attention right away.

If at all you develop a sore in roof of mouth tissue, there’s no need to assume the cause is out of your control. These sores can have many drivers, ranging from harmless to the more invasive. Many of them go away on their own, but a sore on the roof of your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks is the perfect reason to see your dentist for an evaluation – and a regular checkup.

White sore in mouth of a baby

White sores in the mouth of a baby are caused by forms of fungus called Candida. A small amount of this fungus lives in the mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by the immune system and other types of germs that also normally live in the mouth. However, when the immune system is weak, the fungus can grow, leading to sores and lesions in the mouth and on the tongue of a baby.

White patches in the mouth of a baby maybe caused by a disease called Oral thrush. This is actually a yeast infection of the mouth caused by a microorganism called Candida albicans. Oral thrust is most common in infants and is generally not a serious condition in itself. However, it can be at times uncomfortable and lead to difficulties with eating or infant feeding if it does not resolve or is not treated.

Oral thrush causes white patches in mouth
Oral thrush causes white patches in mouth.

Furthermore, oral thrush may occur in children because their immune systems take time to mature, making the less able to resist the infection. This condition can also occur in children after treatment with antibiotics. This is because antibiotics reduce the levels of healthy bacteria in a baby’s mouth, which allows fungus levels to increase.

However oral thrush can be identified by its symptoms. The signs of thrush can occur suddenly and it can be difficult to get rid of thrush especially in infants.

  • The symptoms of oral thrush in babies include:
  • The baby is unsettled especially when feeding.
  • Thrush appears as whitish, velvety lesions in the mouth and on the tongue. Thrush shows as white patches on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheeks and on the tongue.
  • Loss of taste
  • Feeling as if swallowed a cotton ball.

Painless white bumps in mouth

Painless, white, Small, pimple-like bumps inside your mouth can be caused by multiple conditions, such as canker sores, mucous cysts, oral lichen planus and inflamed papillae.

These conditions usually resolve on their own, but certain medications can relieve some of the accompanying pain and discomfort. See a doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you have pimple-like bumps in your mouth.

Causes of white bumps in mouth
Canker sores, bumps, fungal infections, mucous cysts etc. can all cause white sore spots in your mouth. Before getting treatment to get rid of the white sores, it is important to know the underlying cause. Here are a few common causes of mouth sores.

Canker Sores

According to WebMD, “Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and often make eating and talking uncomfortable.”

Canker sores are ulcers that usually appear on the base of your gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth and the inner surface of your lips and cheeks. Canker sores start as painful, red bumps, then develop into open ulcers with a yellow or white middle. The areas around canker sores are bright red. While the exact cause of canker sores are not known, they are thought to be triggered by hormonal changes, food allergies, menstrual periods, stress and poor diet.

Injuries to the mouth tissue, such as from dental work and cheek biting, can also cause canker sores. These ulcers typically heal on their own, however topical medications such as benzocaine (Anbesol) may decrease your pain as they heal. Rinsing your mouth with a mild mouth wash or salt water and avoiding spicy foods may also decrease pain.

Mucous Cysts

Mucous cysts usually appear on the lips’ inner surface. Less commonly they affect the inside of the cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth and the tongue. Mucous cysts are painless, thin, fluid-filled sacs.

These cysts can be caused by damage to a salivary duct, such as trauma caused by sucking your lips between your teeth. Trauma from lip and mouth piercings may also cause mucous cysts to form. These cysts may rupture and drain on their own, however more frequently surgery is required to remove the cyst.

Oral Lichen Planus

Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory condition affecting mucous membranes in your mouth. This inflammation causes raised bumps or lines on the sides of your tongue and inside of your cheeks. You may also have red, open sores in those areas.

Triggers of oral lichen planus may include liver disease, hepatitis C infection, certain medications and vaccines and allergies. Drug treatments for oral lichen planus include corticosteroids, retinoid, calcineurin inhibitors, and antibacterial agents. These bumps may also be treated with light and laser treatments.

Inflamed Papillae

Little pimple-like bumps on your tongue may be inflamed papillae, this inflammation can be caused by injury, such as biting your tongue or burning it with hot food. This condition typically heals on its own, however medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may decrease pain caused by inflamed papillae.

Pictures of white sores in mouth

What does white sores in the mouth look like? These kind of sores can vary in size, and it can differ depending on the person- to- person basis. The white sores pictures can be irregular in shape. However, white sores in mouth and tongue start on the surrounding and tip of the tongue and move towards the center. White mouth sores are usually oval sores that commonly appear on the following parts:

  • Cheeks
  • Lips
  • Tongue

However, mouth sores are not always white in color but can also be red, yellow or grey in color and swollen.

How to get rid of white sores in the mouth

White sores in the mouth can be painful, and unbearable. Therefore it’s advisable to look for a solution on how to curb them. The white sores in mouth be get rid of by use of, Aloe Vera, coriander, honey, salt, baking soda and sage.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an effective natural remedy for white sores. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and curative properties that help ease the pain and inflammation as well as speed up the healing process.

  1. Extract the gel from a fresh aloe Vera leaf and apply it directly on the canker sore. Do this several times a day.
  2. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth with fresh aloe Vera juice about three or four times a day.
  3. You can also take at least two tablespoons of aloe Vera gel three times a day for quick results.

Note: If you do not have an aloe Vera plant, you can buy the gel or juice from the market.

2. Coriander

Coriander is one of the best ingredients for treating a white sore. It contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties that can effectively help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with canker sores. Follow the steps below:

  1. Boil a handful of coriander leaves in a glass of water. Strain the solution and allow the water to cool. Gargle with the lukewarm water at least three or four times a day.
  2. Boil one cup of water and add one teaspoon of coriander seeds to it. Allow it to sit for some time and then strain it. Rinse your mouth with it three or four times a day.
  3. You can also drink the juice from fresh coriander leaves several times a day. Instead of drinking the juice all at once, keep it in your mouth for some time so that the juice can do its magic on the affected area.

3. Honey

Honey is an extremely soothing substance and has antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties.

  1. Apply one teaspoon of honey carefully all around the sore. It will hurt for a few minutes, but it will then ease the pain and inflammation. Do this several times a day.
  2. Mix one teaspoon of honey and one-quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a fine paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse your mouth well with lukewarm water. Repeat the process twice daily.

4. Salt

Salt will help draw the fluid from a white sore and also speed up the healing process.

  1. Mix one teaspoon of salt in one cup of lukewarm water and stir it well.
  2. Use the solution to rinse your mouth. Swish the solution around for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out. This will help disinfect your mouth.
  3. After completing your rinse, put a pinch of salt directly on the canker sore. It will cause some pain, but it will help a lot in the healing process.
  4. Repeat the process four or five times a day.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another very effective ingredient that can be used to treat white sores. It can help neutralize the acidity and soothe the pain and inflammation.

  1. Add a little water to one teaspoon of baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area using your fingers or a cotton ball. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Do this three or four times a day.
  2. Alternatively, you can mix two teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of warm water and use it to rinse your mouth. Follow this simple remedy four or five times a day.

6. Sage

You can also use the herb sage to effectively treat white sores at home. The calming property of sage gives instant relief from the pain and inflammation.

  1. Add three teaspoons of sage leaves to two cups of boiling water. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the solution cool to room temperature and then use it to rinse your mouth. Do this three or four times a day.
  2. Another option is to apply powdered sage leaves directly on the canker sore and leave it on for a few minutes. Repeat this several times a day to get rid of the sore.

Other methods of getting rid of white sores in the mouth include: use of lemon, hydrogen peroxide, saline rinse and many more.

Sources and references

NHS Choices: Mouth ulcers

WebMD: Dental Health and Canker Sores

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