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What is Mouth Inflammation?

Inflammation is a normal process in which your body responds to injury. It can affect any part of your mouth. There are two kinds of inflammation: acute and chronic. At first, inflammation helps to heal the body or injured area. However, problems occur when your body is unable to repair itself and return to normal function.

  • An example of acute inflammation is when you burn the roof of your mouth with hot coffee. The roof of your mouth is red, swollen, hot, and painful. This is a normal process that helps heal the burned area. After a few days, it will be gone.
  • An example of chronic mouth inflammation is gum (periodontal) disease. The body tries to get rid of mouth bacteria that infect the gums, but it cannot. Over time, continued inflammation leads to serious damage to the gums, bone, and structures that support the teeth. This eventually leads to tooth loss. Long-lasting mouth inflammation caused by gum disease can contribute to more serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even some forms of cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms?

What causes mouth inflammation?

Hurting your mouth through one or more of the following:

In some cases diseases or treatments not directly related to the mouth show symptoms of inflammation or sores in the mouth. Examples include chemotherapy and radiation therapy, autoimmune diseases, a lack of vitamins or nutrients, leukemia, AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases.

What is the treatment for mouth inflammation?

Treatment of mouth inflammation depends on a few things. First, determine how serious the inflammation is. If it is bad enough to prevent you from doing normal things, such as eating, drinking, swallowing, talking, or breathing, see your dentist immediately. If the inflammation does not interfere with normal function, think about what caused it. If you hurt your mouth and you can function normally, usually it heals within a few days. Make sure you keep the area clean. If you do not see any improvement within 3-5 days contact your dentist or doctor. If it doesn’t go away in 2 weeks, see your dentist to look at it.

Ewa Posorski, RDH, BS, Master’s Candidate
Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene,
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Boston, MA