Symptoms A-Z

Painful Mouth Sore Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand painful mouth sore symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 7 Possible Painful Mouth Sore Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Painful Mouth Sore Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced painful mouth sore. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Canker sore

Canker sores are small, grayish-white sores in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and on the tongue. No one really knows why canker sores happen, but it seems to be inherited and susceptible to vitamin deficiencies and allergies.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: painful mouth sore, numerous mouth sores, mouth sore surrounded by a red area, single mouth sore, oral ulcer

Symptoms that always occur with canker sore: painful mouth sore

Urgency: Self-treatment

Cold sore

A cold sore is a skin lesion on the lips caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Cold sores are extremely common. In fact, most adults are infected with HSV, usually transmitted in childhood by normal close contact with parents, siblings or friends.

While the infection can be entirely unnoticed, or asymptomatic, the cold sores themselves are usually visible and sometimes painful. In an otherwise healthy individual, they are essentially harmless, though their appearance can cause a great deal of distress.

As with most viruses, there is no cure for HSV infection, though certain medications can decrease the rate of outbreaks for those who are severely afflicted.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: mouth lesions, itchy mouth, pain on the outside of the lips, lip numbness, burning pain on the outside of the lips

Symptoms that always occur with cold sore: mouth lesions

Urgency: Self-treatment

Oral herpes

Herpetic stomatitis is a viral infection of the mouth that causes fever and red and inflamed gums. This typically happens early in childhood.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fever, gum pain, painful mouth sore, gum swelling, gum redness

Symptoms that always occur with oral herpes: gum pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

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Mucous cyst (mucocele)

A mucocele (mucous cyst) is NOT a serious tumor. It's typically caused by repeated biting leading to leakage of mucous from damaged mucous ducts, which accumulates and creates a cyst. It's most commonly found in kids, and usually inside the lower lip but also possibly under the tongue or in the inner cheek.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: painful mouth sore, painless mouth sore, single mouth sore, sores on the inner cheek, sores on the inner lip

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Mouth and throat sores from cancer treatment

Mouth sores are a common side effect of cancer treatment (chemotherapy or radiation therapy). Some types of chemotherapy are more likely to cause this than others. Cancer treatments are used to kill the bad cancerous cells, but unfortunately they also affect healthy cells. The cells of the inner lining of your mouth, esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to stomach) and stomach can get damaged too. This can result in symptoms like red areas or a burning feeling in the mouth, painful sores and painful or difficulty swallowing.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms:

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Toxic epidermal necrolysis

Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a serious, potentially life-threatening skin condition characterized by redness, severe blistering, and widespread skin detachment and peeling. Toxic epidermal necrolysis can spread rapidly and affect greater than 30 percent of the body.

Warning: this article may contain photos that some viewers may find distressing.

See photos of toxic epidermal necrolysis(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPYe5YxQh1uZDzvL0ncZZ5FUndm3EhGkTCJ0S-e3t6XBcaxtul).

Beyond skin-specific symptoms, those with this condition may also experience fever, burning/stinging eyes, and discomfort with swallowing.

Treatments include discontinuing harmful drugs or medication, seeking aid from the burn unit or intensive care unit, plasma exchanges, or intravenous human immune globulin.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: rash, rash with bumps or blisters, red-colored skin changes, painful rash, sore throat

Symptoms that always occur with toxic epidermal necrolysis: rash

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Viral infection of the mouth & throat

Herpangina is a viral illness usually caused by coxsackie virus A. It involves ulcers and sores (lesions) inside the mouth, a sore throat, and fever.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, cough, fever, sore throat

Symptoms that always occur with viral infection of the mouth & throat: mouth sores

Urgency: Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Painful Mouth Sore

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you have a rash?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • What color is the area right around your sore/blister/bump?
  • Stress can cause changes in your body. Are you under a lot of stress?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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Painful Mouth Sore Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced painful mouth sore have also experienced:

  • 7% Sore Throat
  • 4% Fatigue
  • 2% Mouth Lesions

People who have experienced painful mouth sore were most often matched with:

  • 33% Canker Sore
  • 33% Cold Sore
  • 33% Oral Herpes

People who have experienced painful mouth sore had symptoms persist for:

  • 47% Less than a week
  • 26% Less than a day
  • 11% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Painful Mouth Sore Symptom Checker

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