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Stomatitis In Adults And How to Treat It

Stomatitis is an inflammatory lesion of the mucosal epithelium of the oral cavity. The pathology is one of the most common dental problems. The highest incidence of stomatitis is recorded among children. Causes of pathology are diverse, depending on the etiology, there is a clinical picture characteristic of each type of pathology. Treatment of stomatitis is complex.


According to the etiology of stomatitis in adults:


Traumatic stomatitis develops as a consequence of trauma to the oral cavity caused by dentures, chipped tooth enamel, or food. After elimination of the traumatic element, the mucosa recovers on its own. Another cause of this type of pathology is the choice to eat hot or spicy food. The result of such food habits is a burn of the mucous surfaces of the mouth. Its development is provoked by:

  • carious cavities with a sharp edge;
  • broken teeth;
  • burns;
  • poor quality crowns, dentures, braces;
  • bad habit of biting the lips, cheeks, tongue;
  • bad bite, abnormal shape of teeth;
  • overly hot, cold, or spicy food; smoking;
  • smoking;
  • frequent consumption of foods that traumatize mucosa (nuts, seeds).


The causes of the chronic form of aphthous stomatitis are not fully determined. Presumably, the pathology is caused by staphylococci, adenoviruses, autoimmune reactions, immune disorders.

Specific signs of aphthous stomatitis:

  • The mouth cavity is studded with aphthae: round or oval ulcers;
  • The center of the ulcer is covered with gray or yellow plaque, the edges are outlined by a narrow area of hyperemia.


Clinical picture of catarrhal stomatitis:

  • swelling, hyperemia, and painful discomfort of the oral mucosa;
  • increased salivation;
  • yellowish-white plaques of plaque on the mucosa;
  • less commonly, mildly bleeding erosions, foul-smelling breath.

Ulcerative stomatitis

Ulcerative stomatitis occurs as a consequence of a severe course of catarrhal stomatitis or on its own. Sometimes considered a complication of catarrhal.


Candida stomatitis («thrush») is a mycotic pathology caused by overactive Candida fungi. Disposing factors for the development include:

  • poor immunity in infancy;
  • deterioration of protective functions of the body due to abnormalities of hematopoiesis, infections, cancer, AIDS;
  • advanced age (there is a natural decline of immune strength);
  • transformation of hormonal background during pregnancy;
  • disregard of oral hygiene rules;
  • use of dental prosthetic structures;
  • drying of mucous membranes;
  • abnormalities in glucose absorption;
  • ingestion of glucocorticoid sprays;
  • long-term antibiotic therapy.


Vesicular stomatitis develops as a result of contact with viruses of the genus Vesiculorus, which parasitize in the body of cattle. Contamination occurs during mosquito bites. Most often this type of stomatitis affects veterinarians and farm workers.

Bacterial (staphylococcal, streptococcal)

Bacterial stomatitis occurs with a pathological increase in the population of bacteria of opportunistic pathogenic microflora, usually against a background of weakened immunity.

Activation of staphylococcal and streptococcal stomatitis occurs against a background of:

  • carious inflammations;
  • trauma of the mouth;
  • purulent processes of the periodontal pockets;
  • reduced local immunity of the oral cavity;
  • non-compliance with antiseptic and aseptic rules in the process of surgical and dental treatment.


A variety of bacterial stomatitis is angular stomatitis. The cause of the pathology is not only streptococci, but also yeast-like fungi that are part of the symbiotic microflora of the human body.


Allergic stomatitis is a type of pathological autoimmune reactions. Clinical manifestations are polymorphic and include a group of dermatostomatitis, erythema multiforme exudative and stomatitis of various etiologies (often catarrhal or aphthous).


Based on the nature of the inflammatory elements forming on the mucosa, the following classification is accepted in dentistry:

  • Aphthous stomatitis. Areas of inflammation look like oval and round ulcers — aphthae. This clinical form of pathology is subdivided into types:
  • Necrotic stomatitis. Occurs against the background of the course of severe systemic pathologies. It is characterized by the death of cells of the mucosal surface in the mouth. Inflammation foci are painful, on days 3-5 of the pathological process they proliferate, ulcers appear in their place. The sores take up to a month to heal.
  • Fibrinous stomatitis. The surface of aphthous ulcers is covered by a gray plaque. It takes 7-21 days from the time of the ulceration to the restoration of the integrity of the mucosa. Statistically, there is a relapse of fibrinous stomatitis once every 1-3 years.
  • Scarring. A severe form of stomatitis. Starts with the formation of aphthous inflammation, growing day by day. Before long, deep ulcers up to 1.5 centimeters in diameter are formed in their place. It takes up to 12 weeks to heal; the ulcers are scarred.
  • Glandular stomatitis. Affects the salivary glands, which are located throughout the oral cavity. Aphthae are formed at the outlet of the ducts of saliva. They are painful when pressed.
  • Deforming. The most severe variant of the pathology in its manifestations. Ulcers affect large areas of the mucosa and do not heal well. After the inflammatory stage, the ulcers heal with the formation of scars and scars that tighten the tissues, which causes the oral cavity to become deformed.
  • Catarrhal stomatitis is a process of pathologization of the upper layers of the oral mucosa. It is accompanied by bad breath, swelling and hyperemia of the inflammation. Affected fragments of the mucosa are covered with plaques with a white plaque, teeth marks remain on the gums and soft tissues of the tongue. There is pronounced pain, increased salivation, a slight increase in body temperature and weakness.
  • Ulcerous gangrenous stomatitis. The severe form: the mucosa is affected by areas of ulceration and necrosis. The inflammatory process may destroy the entire thickness of the soft tissues, down to the bone. It is accompanied by severe weakness.


Aphthous stomatitis. At the beginning there are signs of general intoxication and malaise, hyperthermia, soreness of the mucosa, which is soon covered with aphthous ulcers. In the course of recovery, the aphthae are scarred and leave scars.

Herpetic stomatitis. When the oral cavity is infected with herpetic virus type 1-2, there is a high risk of developing herpetic stomatitis in an acute form. Typical rapid onset of formation of the clinical picture: hyperthermia, pronounced signs of general intoxication of the body. Examination of the oral cavity reveals hyperemic, edematous mucosa with areas of bleeding gums. There may be increased saliva secretion and bad breath. A few days after the manifestation of the pathology, small pustules and vesicles are abundantly covered on the mucosa, and necrotic changes in the epithelium occur.

Catarrhal and ulcerative stomatitis. The symptomcomplex of these two types of pathology is similar at the beginning of the disease, but after a few days, the ulcerous form is identified by specific signs: sharp hyperthermia, rapid fatigue, headache and swelling of the lymph nodes nearest the focus of inflammation. Ulcerative stomatitis affects the zone of ulcer formation to the depth of the tissues, catarrhal lesion is limited to the upper layer of the mucous membrane. The pain intensifies during meals, sometimes so severe that it forces you to refuse food. Symptoms develop progressively and are most significantly realized in immunocompromised individuals.

Necrotic ulcerative stomatitis, or Vansan stomatitis, results from the activity of symbiotic microorganisms: spindle-shaped bacteria and a type of spirochaete. The main reason for the pathological activity of these microorganisms is a weakened immune system. Clinical manifestations of ulcerative-necrotic stomatitis:

  • drops of ulcers and erosions in the mouth;
  • subfebrile fever;
  • pain and bloody discharge when pressing on the gums;
  • bad breath with a touch of decay;
  • the pathological process begins at the gingival margin and spreads further.

Angular stomatitis. This form of stomatitis is characterized by painful cracks in the corners of the mouth. A feature of angular stomatitis is that other forms of the disease affects the inner surface of the mucosa of the mouth, but with scrofula, the integrity of the outer mucosal layer is compromised. In addition to the seasonal decrease in immunity, among the provoking factors are fixed:

  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • metabolic pathologies
  • endocrine system disorders
  • oral health problems

  • prolonged use of artificial hormones
  • abnormal growth of the streptococcal population
  • unbalanced diet
  • tobacco smoking and alcohol abuse
  • incorrect bite.

These factors create conditions for permanent irritation of the mucous membrane, making it vulnerable to erosion and the attachment and development of infections.

Allergic stomatitis, with all the polymorphism of its manifestations, begins with dry mucosa, itching sensations in the mouth and on the inner edge of the lips, and the process of eating causes discomfort. The oral mucosa becomes swollen, hyperemic, and atrophy of the lingual papillae occurs in the absence of timely treatment.


The prevention of stomatitis lies in the proper care of the oral cavity, promoting the principles of healthy lifestyle and teaching the rules of personal hygiene from early childhood.


As you can see, stomatitis can have many causes, and the choice of treatment depends largely on the type of disease. This article intentionally does not specify the names of drugs to avoid self-treatment, because it can be not only useless, but also aggravate the condition of the body. Only accurate diagnosis will tell how to treat stomatitis in adults in each case. Make an appointment with a specialist at Affordable Dentistry of South Florida to properly diagnose the condition and begin professional treatment immediately!


02 august 2022, 13:28

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