Stomatitis: What it is, causes, main symptoms and treatment


Stomatitis is a condition that forms wounds that look like thrush or ulcers if they are larger. They can be single or multiple and may appear on the lips, tongue, gums and cheeks. Stomatitis is usually accompanied by symptoms such as pain, swelling and redness of the affected region.

closeup of a womans mouth with a canker sore

Stomatitis has different causes such as the presence of herpes, food hypersensitivity as well as a fall in the immune system. A doctor or a dentist can therefore evaluate the symptoms and prescribe the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause. Treatment may include antiviral ointments such as acyclovir or elimination of foods that cause stomatitis.

Possible causes


Stomatitis can have several causes, the main ones being:

1. Cuts or blows

Stomatitis caused by cuts or blows affect people who have a very sensitive oral mucosa. For this reason, injuries that are caused by toothbrushes with firm bristles or during flossing and even eating crispy foods or those that have barks, cause fissures which develops into an injury with the appearance of cold sore. This will cause pain, swelling and discomfort.

2. Fall of the immune system

A fall of the immune system especially due to stress or anxiety spikes caused growth of the bacterium Streptococcus viridans. This bacterium is naturally part of the oral microbiota and it will multiply more than normal hence causing stomatitis.

3. Herpes virus

The herpes virus, in this case called herphetical stomatitis, causes thrush and ulcers as soon as the individual contacts the virus. The virus may attack the face and become dormant and it can cause injury when the immune system falls.

4. Genetic factors

Some people may be prone to attack by stomatitis because it is genetically inherited. In such cases, they can happen more frequently and they will have large lesions. However, the there is no prove of this fact.

5. Food hypersensitivity

Food hypersensitivity especially to gluten, benzoic acid, sorbic acid, cinnamaldehyde and azo dyes can also cause stomatitis in some people even when it is consumed in small amounts.

6. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals

Low rates of iron, B-complex vitamins and folic acid causes stomatitis in most people but the exact reason why this happens is still not yet known.

Main symptoms

The main symptom of stomatitis are lesions that resemble a cold sore or ulcer, and that happen frequently. However, other symptoms that may also be experienced include:

  • Pain in the lesion region
  • Mouth sensitivity
  • Difficulty eating, swallowing and speaking
  • General malaise
  • Discomfort in the mouth
  • Inflammation around the lesion
  • Fever

Moreover, when the canker sores and ulcers arise with a lot of pain and discomfort, one may avoid brushing their teeth and this can result to bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.

aphthous stomatitis

If the stomatitis is recurrent, the general practitioner of dentist can diagnose th cause of the condition which is usually done through a clinical examination by observing the lesions and analysing the patient’s report. From there, the appropriate treatment will be prescribed.

How treatment is done

Treatment for stomatitis during seizures, where by the wound is open is usually done hygienically wiping the affected area every three hours. Mouth wash which is alcohol free can also be used. A soft diet that does not include salty and acidic foods should be taken so as to reduce symptoms and reduce the lesions.

During seizures, some natural measures such as use of propolis extract and licorice drops can be utilized on the site o the wound, as they help relive the burning sensation and the discomfort.

However, if the wound is recurrent, the a doctor or a dentist should be consulted because there may be attack by the herpes virus. For this reason there will be need to take remedies such as acyclovir.

For those who are suffering from food hypersensitivity, genetic factors or a weakened immune system, the general practitioner or a dentist may recommend the use of triamcinolone acetonide, which will be applied to the lesion 3 to 5 times a day. A follow-up should also be made with a nutritionist, so that a special diet is indicated, so that the frequency and attack by stomatitis is reduced.

Care during treatment

During the treatment of aphthous stomatitis there are some precautions that can help to increase recovery recovery such as:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth, flossing and using mouthwash several times a day
  • Make mouthwash of warm water and salt
  • Avoid very hot foods
  • Avoid salty or acidic foods
  • Do not touch the wound and elsewhere
  • Keep the place hydrated
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Moreover, it is also to ideal to drink plenty of water during treatment so as to maintain hydration as well as taking more liquids or a pasty diet that is based on creams, soups ad purees.

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Cornelius Arthur
I am an English language and literature teacher. I have worked in many cities of the world. I am currently producing content at upwork as a freelance. I find and produce the right content by doing good research.


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