Drug Infonet provides drug and disease information for your healthcare needs. Visit our FAQ page to find answers to common health questions. Look on the Manufacturer Info page to link to pharmaceutical company pages. Click to Health Info and Health News for the latest in healthcare developments.
Drug Infonet brings this free resource to you so that you become a more informed consumer of healthcare.
Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Mouth Problems
These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Lasting Jaw Problem
Question: As a child my orthodontist gave me a number of experimental Retainers,
which were supposed to somehow rearrange my jaw along with closing up the spaces between
my teeth. At that time I began to "crack" my jaw by opening and moving it from
side to side. It was painful and aggravating but something I had to do. This continued
through adolescence. Today my top and bottom teeth do not fit together in a comfortable
bite, and when they do fit together my bottom jaw is slightly back and to one side. In my
early 20s I got a retainer to close up small spaces where my teeth had floated apart, and
this was later replaced by a mouth guard. I feel that the guard is causing my teeth to
clench together in the uncomfortable bite mentioned above. I got a lower mouth guard, but
this didn't help. Each morning when I wake up my jaw muscles feel tense and ache, and I
have started to crack my jaw again. (I also hear air-pops when I swallow). A chiropractor
told me my jaw is mis-aligned. That is, one side opens differently than the other. He
adjusted my jaw, and suddenly my top and bottom teeth were lined up, but because they
still bite together the same way all night long the situation soon reverted back. What is
a bite adjustment? Is there any way to file my teeth so that they would fit together
comfortably without my lower jaw being swung back and to the side? Also, why do I feel the
need to crack my jaw, and can this constant manipulation be harmful?
Answer: Sorry, I'm not a dentist. You need to see a orthodontist.
Jaw Pain [posted
Question: I've been suffering from pains in my right jaw for the past few days. It
is very difficult to open my mouth and eat. I can't chew on that side anymore. The pain is
emanating from my gums and I have noticed some swelling in that right back area. At first
I thought that it might be my wisdom tooth coming out, but it's not, as I can see some
infection, redness, and swelling. Tonight, a blood clot appeared. It is not flat or
ensconced in the gums. Rather it is like a little bump protruding. The pain is still
there. It is bearable, but nevertheless painful. Do you have any ideas as to what this
might be? Also, I feel a fever coming on.
Answer: Something that needs a dentist, probably an infection.
Persistent Mouth Ulcers
Question: I have had reoccurring apthous ulcers for most of
my life. Even though I have tried many treatments over the last 20 years, I can only find
relief by taking Prednisone. Without the prednisone I constantly have from 10 to 20
ulcers at one time on my gums, tongue, throat and side of my mouth. I have been tested for
everything under the sun. I have tried antibiotics, cancer drugs, acne drugs,
vitamins, herbs, topical treatments, allergy treatments, herpes treatments, etc. I have
seen dentists, dermatologists, infectious disease doctors, general doctors, ear, nose and
throat doctors and even a chiropractor. I am losing hope. As a last resort I recently
tried Thalomide and it knocked them out. But after a week I broke out in a rash and had
some numbness in my leg so I stopped taking it. Please give me any suggestions that you
Answer: L-Tryphophan is touted by some as
a help. Zinc oxide lozenges are used in common colds and might be worth a try.
Bad Taste in Mouth [posted
Question: I have a bad taste in the back of my mouth.
gargling does not help much.I feel like there is phlem in the throat that I cannot expel
by coughing, hacking etc., my tongue is coated on the backspeech is fine. No detectable
wheezing or breathing difficulty. I do a lot of carpentry work and am exposed to wood dust
often. I've had allergy problems this spring (sinuses), but their fine now.
Answer: Several possibilities. First a bacterial infection of the
tongue or stomach. This can be treated by using prilosec/an antibiotic and pepto-bismol.
Second, reflux acid which is affecting the tongue-treated by zantac, prilosec etc. I doubt
your work has much to do with it.
Burning Mouth [posted 11/5/98]
Question: We have consulted every specialist known to find out why my mother has
constant burning in her mouth, lips and stomach. The worst all the time is mouth. She is
on many medications, they have been researched and burning is not a side affect of one or
any combination of these. She is a vibrant, great, with it 90 year old lady. She has been
suffering for many years with this. She takes vicodin for relief but that doesn't help
much anymore. Please please help, thank you.
Answer: Sometimes very high doses of vitamin b complex will help this problem.
It will take about 8 weeks and needs very high doses of vit b6 as well as the other vit
Oral Infection? [posted 8/11/98]
Question: I have had a bad taste, sort of musty or moldy, in my mouth for about 4
days. I also noticed the back of my tongue is partially coated with a whitish paste, and
there are several red lumps on the back-most edge of my tongue that I had not noticed
before. I have always brushed at least twice daily, but since I became aware of this foul
taste, neither vigorous teeth and tongue brushing nor mouthwash have helped. I have
recently started dating a woman, and performed oral sex on her for the first time about a
month ago, and the last time was about 5 days ago. I was wondering if maybe this was
related to her and what I can do about it, it's really causing me to worry.
Answer: Probably candida, but unrelated to oral sex. You can transmit herpes by
oral sex, but this is usually painful small blisters. See a doctor for further evaluation.
Bad Taste in Mouth
Question: I have had this pretty severe bad taste in my mouth for a while now. It
tends to come and go. The last time I had it, it lasted about a week and then I did not
get it again for about two months. Now, I have it again and it has already lasted about
four days. I feels like I constantly have a copper taste in my mouth. What I was wondering
is if it could be a result of a post nasal drip. If you have ever heard of such a problem,
could you please let me know if there is something that I could do to get rid of this
Answer: There are several possibilities. First, ensure your teeth are flossed
twice a day and brushed 2-3 times a day. Gum disease is the leading cause of this problem.
Second, a post nasal infection or sinus infection could cause this symptom complex-not
just a drip. Thirdly, occasionally systemic problems like hepatitis or medications you are
taking will produce this metallic taste. If it persists after the dental care, see your
Mouth cracks; redness
Question: What causes the cracks or red areas on the outside area of the mouth? In
the area between the upper and lower lip in the corners.
Answer: This is called cheliosis. Vitamin B deficiency, dry skin, and use of
anti-acne treatments are all associated with this problem.
Ulcers in the mouth
Question: I frequently get ulcers in the mouth. Whenever they occur, it becomes
very inconvenient for me to eat and also talking to others. Please subscribe me some
medicines that would help.
Answer: First, what is the cause? If it is herpes, then acylovir or equivalent
would help. If it is lupus or a connective tissue disorder, then that problem would have
to be addressed, so work on the causal diagnosis first. There are topical medications that
help the pain. Liquid benadryl swish and spit can help and there are topical gels
available at your pharmacy that help. Dentists sometimes can help with topical covering to
decrease the pain.
Question: In the rural area where I live, visiting my Primary Care Physician is
nearly a half day adventure. I have something on the floor of my mouth (under my tongue).
The area appears unusually red in color, has no appearance of a rash or other changes in
surface appearance. However, I can feel a slight texture with my tongue that I can best
describe as fuzzy or rough. The best comparison I can make is that of rubbing one's finger
across coarse sandpaper. I've thoroughly researched such topics as "oral
candidiasis," "thrush," and "trench mouth" on the Web. My
symptoms are dissimilar to those associated with these conditions (as the symptoms were
described by various Websites. Any ideas?
Answer: Most of the infective causes are painful, which you are not describing.
I don't know if you smoke or how old you are. The risk of oral cancer rises with each. Off
hand, I don't have any great ideas-- looks like someone needs to see this one.
Question: I'm a 48 year old male who's very healthy with one notable exception.
Within the past 30 days I've developed a very strange and unpleasant taste in my mouth
that won't go away. I haven't changed my diet, and have had a dentist check for fillings
that may be leaking, but was told that it's not the cause. It's virtually constant (24
hours a day) and goes away only for a moment while I'm eating. It can be best described as
metallic tasting. The smell of my breath hasn't changed and my girlfriend says she can't
taste it when she kisses me. It's very unpleasant and I don't know why it's occurring or
how to get rid of it.
Answer: Several possibilities here. First have your physician check your liver
enzymes and other tests to ensure that you haven't had sub-clinical hepatitis or any liver
inflammation. Occasional people have a diverticuli which is located about the Adams Apple.
This is called a Zenker's Diverticuli (sack) and can be surgically repaired. They tend to
have food collect here which causes the bad taste and odor. Some patients have an
infection in their stomach caused by Helicobacter Pylori. This can be treated by your
physician and is a fairly common cause of this complaint.
Question: The roof of my mouth has been sore, red, and a little swollen for some
time now. I thought it would go away but it's not. What is wrong and do I need to see a
doctor? I'm starting to get a little worried.
Answer: Agree, see a doctor.
Back to Drug InfoNet Home Page.
Back to Doctor FAQ main page.