Every day, your mouth performs a variety of actions that allow you to eat, drink, speak and smile. When everything is fine, it’s easy to forget that the mouth can be affected by minor health issues too.
Wake up with a cold sore (herpes labialis) or a mouth ulcer (cankersore) and you’ll be reminded all too quickly that your mouth plays a central role in your daily life. People who suffer from a lack of saliva (dry mouth) can also attest to this.
Feel a burning or tingling sensation around your lips? Is there a painful and unattractive lesion at the corner of your mouth? You probably have a cold sore, or herpes labialis, a highly contagious viral infection that affects nearly 80% of the population.
While in 20%-40% of cases the virus doesn’t develop into an open sore, it is nonetheless unpleasant for the person affected. Cold sores don’t lead to serious complications and go away 8 to 10 days following the formation of a blister. Treatments also exist to speed up healing and minimize symptoms.
Also small and harmless, mouth ulcers often cause discomfort. They generally disappear on their own after 10 to 14 days. About 17% of individuals experience one or several outbreaks of mouth ulcers during their lifetime.
Ulcers appear as small sores in different areas of the mouth and are not infectious. While their cause is not clearly understood, we do know that several factors contribute to their appearance. Generally, mouth ulcers tend to occur after:
- An injury to the inside of the mouth
- A period of stress or fatigue
- The development of a dietary deficiency or the taking of certain medications
If the sore does not disappear on its own after 14 days or if other sores appear, consult your healthcare professional.
Does your tongue stick to the top of your palate? Are you having difficulty swallowing or are your lips are chapped? All these symptoms arise from dehydration caused by physical effort or the use of home heating systems during the cold months. Some people, however, can experience these discomforts at any time.
Also called xerostomia, dry mouth is characterized by a lack of saliva due to various factors that can sometimes be eliminated. If this is not the case, there are several ways to treat this condition. Speak with your pharmacist!
Other oral health issues
In addition to the conditions described above, other oral health issues can prevent you from showing your smile. For instance, gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, is caused by the accumulation of tartar on the teeth, which is the first stage of periodontitis.
In more serious cases, periodontitis, an inflammation of supporting dental structures (gums and bones), can result in the tooth loss.
A dental abscess is another oral health problem. It is a pus-filled infection that affects the gums, teeth and supporting tissue. The gum tissue can also wear away to expose the teeth’s roots, a condition known as receding gums.
Good oral health is the best way to prevent the occurrence of such problems.
We know just what to say
When problems occur that affect your oral health, your pharmacist can advise you on steps to get relief.
If your condition becomes intolerable and affects your day-to-day life, don’t wait. Consult one of our healthcare professionals at a store near you. They’ll be able to direct you quickly to the right treatment to restore your oral health. Brunet is your first stop for all your health-related questions!