Read below about red spots in the mouth, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your red spots in the mouth from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Red Spots in the Mouth

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced red spots in the mouth. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Cold Sore

    Cold sores (also called oral herpes or fever blisters), are viral infections of the mouth caused by the herpes virus type 1. You were probably infected very early in life as a child when an adult kissed you. The virus stays asleep (dormant) and causes infections every now and then after exposure to lots of sun or emotional/physical stress. It is contagious when an outbreak is happening, but treatment is limited unless you are immunocompromised.

    1-2 weeks. Natural healing process starts within 24 hours of the initial sore starting.

    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
  2. 2.Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells. This disease most commonly affects children between the ages of 2-5 years, and is a much more rare disease in adults. People with this disease get sick very rapidly. First, they feel fatigue and dizziness, and eventually the disease leads to bone marrow failure.

    Prognosis is highly variable and dependent on the individual, so a consultation from an oncologist is required.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, fever, severe fatigue
    Symptoms that never occur with acute lymphoblastic leukemia:
    inflamed throat
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

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  3. 3.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.

    1-2 weeks but recurrent

    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
  4. 4.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.

    In most cases, mouth sores get better within a few days.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Red Spots in the Mouth

  • Q.Do you have a sore throat?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Look in the back of your throat, does your throat look inflamed and red?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our red spots in the mouth symptom checker to find out more.

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Red Spots in the Mouth Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced red spots in the mouth have also experienced:

    • 17% Sore Throat
    • 4% Fever
    • 3% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced red spots in the mouth were most often matched with:

    • 71% Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
    • 14% Cold Sore
    • 14% Oral Herpes
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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