What are the signs of mouth problems?

Your mouth is made up of your lips, tongue, gums, teeth, cheek lining, mouth floor, hard palate, soft palate, uvula, and tonsils. Your mouth helps you breathe, talk, swallow, taste and chew. Symptoms involving the mouth are extremely common and affect people in all age groups.

Mouth Problems Spotlight

General mouth symptoms

The range of mouth symptoms includes:

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding

  • Burning or scalding sensation

  • Deformity of the mouth or its structures

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

  • Excessive salivation or drooling

  • Itching

  • Pain and soreness including dental pain due to dental disease and problems

  • Patches or spots that can be red or white, smooth or raised

  • Rash, blisters, ulcers or sores

  • Swelling or enlargement of the gums, tonsils, lips or tongue

Mouth symptoms can be a symptom of a variety of disorders and diseases including infection, inflammation, allergy, genetic disorders, trauma, malignancy, metabolic diseases, and other abnormal processes. Mouth symptoms can vary in character and intensity depending on the underlying cause and individual factors, and may be felt all the time or only during certain activities, such as eating, drinking, chewing or breathing.

Mouth symptoms can gradually build over weeks or months, such as a painful sore that does not heal. In addition, ongoing mouth symptoms can be due to chronic or long-term conditions, such as diabetes, oral cancer, or Down syndrome. Mouth symptoms can also appear suddenly, such as lip or tongue swelling due to an allergic reaction or injury.

Mouth symptoms can be a sign of a serious disease or condition. Seek prompt medical care and talk with your medical professional about unexplained mouth symptoms or if you have mouth symptoms that have been treated but are not improving as expected.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have severe pain, tongue, lip, mouth or facial swelling, shortness of breath, throat tightness, slurred speech, paralysis or drooping of the face, or a change in consciousness.


What other symptoms might occur with mouth symptoms?

Mouth symptoms may occur with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, white patches of pus on the tonsils combined with a sore throat and fever may be due to a streptococcal infection (strep throat).... Read more about mouth symptomssymptoms


What causes mouth symptoms?

Mouth symptoms can be related to a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. Some causes of mouth symptoms are serious, even life threatening, such as an anaphylactic reaction. Other causes may be relatively mild, such as the common cold or dental problems.... Read more about mouth symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian MD Last Annual Review Date: Jun 3, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health