By Susan Braden
Irritated spots in the mouth can be both painful and bothersome. In some situations, these sores could even indicate the presence of a more severe problem, so if they last longer than a week or so, a dental appointment could become necessary. Dental insurance may help lower the cost to treat these areas.
These fluid-filled bubbles, often called "fever blisters," erupt around the lips, occasionally showing up near the nose or chin. These painful bumps result from the herpes simplex virus type 1 infection and are very contagious. The initial infection is sometimes confused with the flu or a common cold, but it creates the blisters throughout the mouth. Once infected, the virus never leaves the body, though it can become dormant. Sometimes it recurs after stress, a sunburn or a fever. The blisters usually heal without treatment in approximately one week, and you may be able to purchase a topical anesthetic to ease the pain.
These small ulcers emerge inside the mouth, usually one at a time, and are not contagious. They appear to have a red border around a white or gray base. Researchers are unsure of the exact cause, but they think the ulcers could be related to bacteria, viruses or immune system issues. Scientists have noticed a pattern in that allergies, stress or fatigue can encourage the reoccurrence of these ulcers. A canker sore may also be caused by reactions to cold or hot foods, a woman’s menstrual cycle or a cut inside the mouth. They generally heal in one or two weeks on their own, but they may become irritated in contact with hot, acidic or spicy foods. A cheap dentist may prescribe bandages or antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection.
Leukoplakia are common among tobacco users and appear as thick, white patches inside the mouth. Caused by excessive cell growth, they usually occur as a result of chewing on the inside of the cheek, a poorly fitting denture or other irritations. If the area appears dangerous, your dentist may recommend a biopsy, because leukoplakia are sometimes associated with oral cancer. Otherwise, the dentist will treat the area by eliminating the irritations that caused the leukoplakia. Treatment sometimes involves abstaining from tobacco or replacing dentures. Insurance may also cover these procedures.
It depends on the situation, but an insurance can sometimes cover treatment procedures for these painful sores. If not, a discount dental plan, an affordable alternative to dental insurance, may help alleviate the financial burden.