Discover what those “mouth pimples” are and how to treat them naturally at home. Learn about the possibilities and dangers you could be in and when it’s time to see a doctor.
Pimples, zits, acne and any other name these painful sores go by; no matter what you call them, they aren’t fun. Having them on your face is bad enough but in your mouth? It’s understandable to panic, but fortunately, there’s no need for now. You can take natural remedies and steps to relieve this malady and prevent it from happening again.
The first thing to understand is that the pimple in your mouth isn’t a pimple; it just looks and, sometimes, feels like one. They are similar to pimples in some ways but should not be treated the same as you would a zit on the exterior of your face. To that end, we’ll look at some natural remedies you can use at home to treat and prevent these pimples in your mouth.
Mouth Pimples: A Simple Term for Many Afflictions
You might have a raised white or red bump on your mouth and immediately assume it’s a pimple because of its appearance and what it feels like. They are not pimples, of course, because there are no pores on the inside of your mouth to get clogged with oils, dirt and other foreign substances. However, you do have a myriad of other glands and body parts that are vulnerable to damage,
Under certain conditions, these different mouth parts become raised and inflamed, making them resemble pimples in your mouth. But this is a typical response to attack by your body by foreign elements. It quarantines the area and fills it with white blood cells to kill or expel intruders. The problem is this can be very uncomfortable and, if left untreated, spiral out of control into much worse conditions.
Afflictions to different parts of your mouth have different names, causes and symptoms despite their similar appearances. Let’s look at the most common ones mistaken for mouth or tongue pimples. We’ll review what causes them, what they do to you, and how to eliminate them.
Also known as swollen taste buds (a misnomer) and “lie bumps” because of an old wives’ tale that claimed liars would get these bumps on their tongues when they told lies. These papillae are merely there to make your tongue rougher so that, in theory, you can manipulate food easier to have a better time chewing. They may not be vital to your survival but can become a nuisance if inflamed.
These papillae become inflamed for many reasons. Physical trauma is one of the most common ways. Biting your tongue, burning it with food, or other damage can cause them to swell. However, internal causes are also thought to contribute to the swelling, such as stress, hormone imbalances or food triggers. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific cause because so many are linked.
Whichever way they are formed, inflamed papillae are characterized by raised white or red bumps on the tongue that can be extremely painful when touched. It can make eating a real pain. Fortunately, they do not cause much more harm than that, but unfortunately, there is no way to treat them directly.
Alleviate The Pain Of a Mouth Or Tongue Pimple
Cold and smooth foods can alleviate the pain, as can salt water mouthwashes. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can also help relieve pain, but there is no way to reliably and safely remove them. They should go away after a couple of weeks maximum. Should they persist longer than that, it’s time to see a doctor.
Canker Sores Or Tongue Pimple
These sores are ulcers on the roof of your mouth, gums or tongue. They start as raised bumps but then rupture into open sores. They are white or yellow in the middle, and the sore can be painful. The area around the sore remains a bright red as the skin inflames.
It is unknown what causes canker sores strictly because, much like inflamed papillae, they are associated with many triggers. Also, like sore papillae, both internal and external causes exist. Damage from dental work or biting your cheeks can lead to canker sores, and they are also familiar with people who have dental implants like braces or dentures that don’t fit well.
Internally, hormones tend to have a measurable effect on canker sore prevalence. Hormone imbalance, especially from menstruation, significantly raises the risk of canker sores. Food allergies, stress and a nutritionally poor diet also contribute to the forming of cankers. They are mainly incidental, but for some unlucky few, chronic sores can plague their mouths regularly.
Healing Canker Sores
Canker sores, fortunately, heal themselves eventually. However, while the sore is still active, infection is dangerous if a foreign substance is exposed to the open sore. Sexual activity involving the mouth and the consumption of hygienically suspected food should be suspended for the duration of the sore’s existence.
To treat canker sores, you’ll need to dry them out and shrink them so that they heal faster. You can accomplish this in several ways, including salt water mouth rinses and alum powder paste. You can also use honey or hydrogen peroxide to clean, disinfect and reduce the swelling of the sore. If it persists longer than ten days or you develop a fever, immediately see a doctor for prescription strength medication.
As bad as they sound, mucous cysts are not so terrible. They often are not even painful, just uncomfortable. Anything out of the ordinary in your mouth will feel off as a protective measure your body takes to alert you to potential problems. However, these cysts can return after treatment, and chronic mucous cysts can become painful and dangerous.
Mucous cysts are called mucoceles and occur most commonly in people aged 10-25. They are characterized by tender swelling mouth areas that may even turn blue—when mucous plugs up a salivary gland, creating a cavity where fluid fills up. They usually form on the lower lip but can crop up anywhere and resemble a pimple in the mouth.
These cysts are caused by topical damage to the mouth from trauma. Common causes include:
- Lip biting
- Check biting
- Mouth piercings
- Damage from dental work
- Crooked teeth causing abrasions in the mouth
Healing Mucous Cyst
A one-off mucous cyst is not much to worry about and should clear itself up in several days. However, the more it happens in the same area, the deeper the cyst can get. The deeper the cysts, the more likely they will get infected or form painful lesions. Infections and deep chronic cysts may even be a trigger for oral cancers.
Nothing can be done for a mucous cyst at home; you must ride it out. However, there are some things you can do to speed up the healing process and make yourself more comfortable. Try a warm salt water rinse or pure honey applied to the area to reduce swelling. Do not try and rupture the cyst yourself because you’ll only open your mouth up to further infection and problems.
Despite the relative harmlessness of mucous cysts, see a doctor if you suspect you have one. Do not try and self-diagnose. You may conclude that it is a mucous cyst and seek no treatment when it may be something more severe than a mucous cyst. If your doctor confirms it is a harmless cyst, they will recommend the best action.
The best thing you can do for mucous cysts is to prevent them. Corrective dental or orthodontic work can fix crooked teeth that may be causing damage, but mouth chewing is a much more common cause. To stop yourself from doing this, try chewing sugarless gum or putting in a mouthguard if you do it in your sleep. Keeping a journal and recording yourself every time you chew your mouth or lips will help you visualize the problem and help you notice it when you do it.
Treat When You Can
Fortunately, things that appear to be pimples in the mouth are rarely severe and can be assuaged with natural remedies. However, they are not guaranteed to solve the problem, and if these conditions persist, more harmful disorders may afflict you.
You are probably right if you feel these bumps in your mouth have been there too long. See a doctor to rule out potentially harmful conditions and ensure it doesn’t get that far.