Minor mouth and gingival irritations

Irritation of the mouth and gums, including canker sores and gum and wound inflammation, can often result from minor dental procedures, the use of dentures, orthodontic appliances or accidental injury.

Impact of gingival irritation

Canker sores and oral wounds can be painful and impact on daily eating and oral hygiene habits. Additionally poor oral hygiene can affect the healing process and prolong sores.

Causes of irritation

Irritation may occur as a result of minor dental procedures. In addition the use of dentures or orthodontic appliances may result in soreness or canker sores. In some cases patients may be unable to maintain effective oral hygiene e.g. total care geriatrics, leading to irritation.

Orthodontic discomfort is a common response to the adjustment of braces. Patients may experience tooth sensitivity for three to five days after adjustment, and irritation of the lips, cheeks and tongue for one to two weeks1.

Diagnosing gingival irritation

Should symptoms persist for longer than 7 days then further investigation may be required.

Management of gingival irritation

Patients should be counselled to ensure that oral hygiene standards are maintained where possible in spite of any soreness.

Oral hygiene may then be complemented by the use of an antiseptic mouthwash to flush out food particles that brushing can miss and to promote natural healing.

  1. Facts about orthodontics. "How do braces feel?" American Association of Orthodontists.
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