Suspicious changes in your mouth
It is important to check your mouth regularly for any issues that seem out of normal. Many of the changes you may notice are temporary, and don't require medical or dental treatment. However, others may be an indication of more serious concerns that require medical or dental attention. While few require a trip to an emergency department or urgent care facility, it is important to be on the lookout for things that can be a true medical emergency.
Examples of things to look for include:
- Sores or
of your face, lips, cheeks,
(gingiva), tongue, or throat (which may or may not be painful).
- Pain or numbness anywhere in or around the mouth.
- Red or white spots or rashes on your lips, cheeks, tongue or gums.
- Bumps on your cheeks or tongue.
- Red, puffy or bleeding gums.
- Discoloration, dryness, stickiness, or "fuzziness" on your tongue, lips, or mucous membranes.
- Blue-grey "stains" on your cheeks or gums after you get a
- Difficulty talking, breathing, or eating.
- Increased mucous or thicker saliva.
There are many reasons you may notice a change in or around your mouth. Some common causes include:
- Traumatic injuries.
- Viral or bacterial infections.
- Your oral habits.
- Allergies and contact dermatitis.
- Canker or cold sores.
- Chipped, cracked or broken teeth.
- Poorly fitting dentures or
(fixed partial denture).
, or using smokeless
treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy, and stem cell therapy.
- Medical conditions such as
, heart disease, or immune system disorders.
and nutritional deficiencies.
What to do
Medical review: Thomas J. Greany DDS
Last medical review: February 7, 2021
Last updated: February 11, 2021
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