If you’ve ever had a blister on your tongue, you’ll know it can cause discomfort and pain.
We all know that healthy teeth and gums are essential for overall wellness, but did you know that your tongue also reveals clues about your general health? Blisters and sores on the tongue could be a sign of an underlying condition. If you’ve noticed an unusual bump on your tongue, it could be an indication of one of a number of issues, such as a canker sore, candidiasis or another oral blister.
How to avoid oral sores?
The best way to avoid oral health issues such as blisters, canker sores and oral thrush, is to do the following:
- Daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing
- Make sure to brush your tongue and gums
- Rinsing your mouth out after meals
- Maintain a healthy diet, and avoid highly acidic and sugary foods
- Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups
- Remove dentures every night
- Avoid smoking tobacco
- Ensure other medical conditions are under control (diabetes etc.)
- Avoid oral hygiene products with sodium lauryl sulfate
What is a canker sore?
Canker sores are a type of oral blister, and are a fairly common issue. They are typically very small and form on the tongue or other areas of the mouth, including the gums and the inside of the cheeks and lips. Also known as a mouth ulcer, canker sores are generally white or yellow, and surrounded by tissue that looks red and swollen.
Symptoms of canker sores
Some of the most common symptoms of canker sores include pain or a tingling sensation in the affected area, and in some cases, a fever and swollen lymph nodes.
- Pain or tingling sensation in infected area
- Fever and swollen lymph nodes in some cases
- White or yellow oval-shaped ulcer
How to treat canker sores?
Usually, canker sores will heal without need for treatment. However, many lifestyle changes will help canker sores heal quicker, such as brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to reduce bacterial buildups. Drinking milk and yogurt can also help reduce pain associated with canker sores.
It’s also important to avoid spicy foods while suffering from a canker sore.
You can also visit your dentist, or doctor to receive medication to aid the healing process.
How long do canker sores take to heal?
While this type of sore usually heals without treatment within a week or two, they can take up to six weeks to fully resolve.
If you notice a canker sore on your tongue or inside your mouth, we recommend that you continue to practice good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing, as this will help to prevent a bacterial infection from developing. You can also use an anti-bacterial mouthwash or a salt water solution to rinse your mouth. If you feel considerable pain, we encourage you to come in for a consultation so that we can recommend a treatment plan to speed up the healing process.
What causes oral candidiasis?
If you’ve noticed tongue blisters or other areas of inflamed tissue inside your mouth, you may have a condition known as candidiasis. Also known as oral thrush, the condition occurs when a yeast infection develops in the mouth, causing bumps to appear on the tongue and/or inside the cheeks.
Oral thrush can be avoided by actively rinsing and cleaning your mouth, visiting the dentist regularly and maintaining a healthy nutritious diet.
Symptoms for oral thrush include:
Some people will not notice any symptoms, however others may notice some of the following:
- Creamy white lesions found on the tongue, inner cheek, roof of the mouth, tonsils and gums
- Raised lesions that may bleed if scraped or sore
- Burning, redness or soreness
- Cracking and redness on the corners of your mouth
- The loss of taste
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.
What causes oral thrush?
- Weakened immunity – More likely to occur in people with a weakened immunity.
- Diabetes – Poorly maintained diabetes can cause saliva to carry large amounts of sugar, which encourages the growth of candidiasis.
- Medications – Certain drugs can increase your risk of oral thrush, it’s best to consult your dentist or doctor for more information.
- Vaginal yeast infections – The same fungus which causes vaginal thrush, also causes oral thrush. This means it can be passed on, especially to your baby.
- Oral conditions – Conditions which cause a dry mouth, or make the mouth harder to clean can increase the risk of oral thrush.
How long does it take to clear up?
Oral thrush generally clears up within around ten days if it is properly treated by maintaining a clean mouth and visiting your dentist or doctor.
While you are recovering from the condition, we recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth, and once your candidiasis has cleared up, replace your toothbrush to prevent reinfection. Rinsing with salt water can also help to reduce some of the uncomfortable symptoms of candidiasis, while an anti-bacterial mouthwash can also aid recovery.
What causes blisters on the lips and tongue?
If you have ruled out both candidiasis and canker sores, it is possible that your tongue blisters were caused as a result of injuries to the tongue.
Sometimes, eating crunchy or hard foods like certain candies and potato chips can cause cuts and blisters on the tongue. It is also possible to accidentally bite your tongue when eating, or to burn the surface of the tongue on a hot drink.
While these types of injuries generally heal without treatment, it’s important that you stick to good oral hygiene to protect your mouth from harmful bacteria and infection. If a blister or ulcer does not heal within a couple of weeks, we recommend that you come in and see us so that we can check for any underlying conditions.
Contact Elite Dental of Staten Island
If you are struggling with any type of tongue blister or oral condition, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange a consultation.