What is Stomatitis?

Stomatitis is inflammation of the mouth and lips. The two main forms of stomatitis are herpes stomatitis, also known as a cold sore, and aphthous stomatitis, also known as a canker sore.

Stomatitis is a sore or inflammation inside of the mouth. The sore can be in the cheeks, gums, inside of the lips, on the tongue or palate. Stomatitis can disrupt a person’s ability to eat, talk and sleep.

Who gets Stomatitis and what causes it?

Aphthous stomatitis is not caused by a virus and is not contagious. Instead, it’s caused by problems with oral hygiene or damage to mucous membranes. Some causes include:

  • Dry tissues from breathing through the mouth due to clogged nasal passages.
  • Small injuries due to dental work, accidental cheek bite, or other injuries.
  • Sharp tooth surfaces, dental braces, dentures or retainers.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Food sensitivities to strawberries, citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, eggs, cheese or nuts.
  • Allergic response to certain bacteria in the mouth.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Autoimmune diseases that attack cells in the mouth.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Deficiency in vitamin B-12, folic acid, iron or zinc.
  • Certain medications.
  • Candida albicans

What does Stomatitis look like?

Stomatitis is a single pale or yellow ulcer with a red outer ring or a cluster of such ulcers in the mouth.

Cold sores are fluid-filled sores that occur on or around the lips. They rarely form on the gums or the roof of the mouth. Cold sores later crust over with a scab and are usually associated with tingling, tenderness or burning before the actual sores appear.

Oral inflammation and ulcers, known as stomatitis, may be mild and localized or severe and widespread. They are invariably painful. Stomatitis may involve swelling and redness of the oral mucosa or discrete, painful ulcers (single or multiple).

What are the symptoms of Stomatitis?

Herpetic stomatitis is usually indicated by multiple blisters. The blisters may make it difficult or painful to eat, drink, or swallow with dehydration being a risk if drinking is uncomfortable.

Aphthous stomatitis are round or oval ulcers with a red, inflamed border. The centre is usually white or yellow. Most canker sores are small and oval, with healing time being one to two weeks without scarring. Larger, irregular sores can occur with extensive injury and can take six or more weeks to heal. These can leave scars in the mouth.

Is Stomatitis contagious?

Cold sores are highly contagious. Canker sores are not caused by a virus and are not contagious. Instead they are caused by problems with oral hygiene or damage to mucous membranes.

What food helps and what food is best avoided?

Eating soft foods such as mashed potatoes and other cooked vegetables, noodles, clear broth soups, yogurt and cottage cheese will certainly help. Also foods which are near pH neutral (as saliva is) which includes crab meat, lobster, shrimp and some soft cheeses i.e. camembert.

Foods and drinks to be avoided are anything acidic i.e. oranges, tomatoes, processed foods, grains and sugar as well as anything spicy or crunchy.  For aphthous stomatitis, certain nutritional supplements like B vitamins (folate, B-6, B-12) may help. Foods high in these vitamins include broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, calf’s liver, lentils and asparagus.

Proper oral hygiene is also important and using products containing natural ingredients such as Hyaluronan will make a difference. Hyaluronan is a naturally occurring component found in the body, especially in gums and helps the natural healing process.

To relieve Stomatitis

For stomatitis the most appropriate Gengigel products to use are the Gengigel Mouthrinse for soothing the whole oral cavity applied throughout the day (and not just after brushing). The Gengigel Gel to control oral discomfort and inflammation as well as the Gengigel First Aid which is more concentrated and will control pain instantly without risk of further trauma.

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