Stomatitis – Types & Causes

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Inflammation can disturb a person’s ability to talk, eat, and sleep. It is a type of mucositis, and it can be mild or serious, acute or chronic. Inflammation of the vermilion of the lips is called cheilitis, inflammation of the gums is gingivitis, inflammation of the tongue is glossitis and inflammation of the back of the mouth is called pharyngitis.

Types of Stomatitis

Canker Sore: A canker sore, also called an aphthous ulcer, is a single pale with a red outer ring, typically on the tongue, cheeks or inside the lip.

Cold Sore:  Also called fever blisters, cold sores are fluid-filled sores that happen on or around the lips. They sometimes form on the gums or the roof of the mouth. Cold sores then crust over with a scab and are typically associated with tenderness, tingling or burning before the actual sores appear.

Mouth Irritation: The irritation may be caused by a variety of reasons:

  • Chewing tobacco
  • Biting your cheek, lip or tongue
  • Burning one’s mouth from hot food or drinks
  • Having gum disease 
  • Having hypersensitivity to some things, like foods or medicines
  • Wearing braces or another type of dental apparatus or having a sharp, broken tooth
  • Having autoimmune diseases affecting the mucosal lining of the mouth, like Crohn’s disease, Lupus, or Behcet’s disease
  • Taking certain drugs such as antibiotics, chemotherapy,  medications used for rheumatoid arthritis, or epilepsy medications
  • Receiving radiation as part of cancer treatment

Stomatitis Causes

There are many potential causes of stomatitis, including:

  • Orthotics (such as braces or dentures)
  • Tobacco use
  • Biting the tongue or cheek
  • Side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, or other medications
  • Burns from hot food or drinks
  • Thrush
  • Herpes viruses
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Behçet syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Nutritional deficiencies (specifically iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 )
  • Chemical exposure
  • Certain allergies
  • Stress or a weakened immune system
  • Bacterial infections

Treatment For Stomatitis

Treatment for stomatitis is based on the cause. If it is because of an allergy to a medication, it must be quickly stopped. Nevertheless, it may be required to continue a causative medication when stomatitis comes as an expected adverse reaction to chemotherapy.

Infections may need particular treatment, such as antibiotics for streptococcal pharyngitis, oral antifungals, or agents for candida infection.

Nutritional deficiencies need to be identified and corrected; for instance, folic acid can lower methotrexate-induced stomatitis.

Immunobullous diseases can be treated with systemic corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive treatments.

Symptomatic treatment may include:

  • Protective pastes
  • Antiseptic mouthwash
  • Local anaesthetic mouthwash or spray
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Oral analgesics (pain killers)

Dietary Changes

Along with medications, drinking more fluids such as water and green tea will assist keep your mucous membranes well-hydrates for faster healing. Avoiding acidic, spicy or very hot foods will stop further pain and irritation.

Oral and Dental Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is crucial for healing from stomatitis. Brush at least twice a day using your finger or soft toothbrush if your mouth is very sore for bristles.

To get relief from stomatitis pain, you can try using a simple salt water rinse. Fuse one teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of salt with a quart of water; rinse several times a day, but don’t swallow the mix. 

Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, but mouth rinses with hydrogen peroxide will help hear oral sores.

Chronic atrophic candidiasis or denture affects between 17% and 75% of denture wearers.

Wax-based products can be applied to dental appliances or braces that rub or irritate gums to create a buffer for your gums. This will assist in preventing and healing stomatitis. 

When to See a Doctor?

You should see a healthcare provider if you have unexplainable symptoms of stomatitis or symptoms that last longer than a week or two. Plus, go for medical attention if you are having trouble eating and drinking, and there could be the possibility of dehydration.

Other reasons to see a doctor may include white patches on the tongue or sores in the mouth coupled with a high fever. Do not wait to seek help for worrisome symptoms.


Stomatitis has multiple causes, including allergies, injury, nutritional deficiencies and bacterial infection. The condition comes with different symptoms – most strikingly, sores, ulcers, or blisters on lips or inside the mouth. 

The majority of cases can be diagnosed with a physical exam & a review of medical history. Treatment options consist of OTC and prescription medications in either pill or topical cream form. 

By paying attention to dental or oral hygiene and making certain dietary changes, you can increase the pace of healing and avoid unnecessary pain. See your doctor if you find yourself with stomatitis symptoms that are present for more than a couple of weeks, run a high fever or have extreme pain. 


1. Are stomatitis and mouth ulcers the same?

Stomatitis is characterised by inflammation of the oral mucosa, resulting in the development of ulcers that may result in challenges and discomfort with eating and drinking. 
Ulcers can appear on the inner lips, gums, cheeksor tongue, and are usually triggered by irritants, infections, injuries or allergic responses.

2. Which vitamin is responsible for stomatitis disease?

Deficiency of vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, is responsible for stomatitis, which plays a crucial role in hematopoietic stem cell formation and has been linked with oral mucosal diseases, particularly recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS).


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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