Dentistry/mouth pain


Im 17 and i don't know how I got a sore in my mouth.It's on my lower gums only on my left side and many other symptoms started to develop like painful lymph nodes,grayish discoloration of my gums in the back,sore throat, headaches I'm in a lot of pain and it got a little bigger and it looks like I'm getting another sore.Do you know what it is and should I see a doctor/dentist? Because I lost weight because of the difficulty to eat I refuse food.

Hi Porsher and thanks for your question.

I sure you can appreciate the danger and difficulty in me giving you a definitive diagnosis from what you have explained, without further investigation and consultation into the matter. I want to explain some vital fundamental issues with you about this...

Very often, the mouth is the first place where systemic disease presents itself and when identified early on, can be very helpful in establishing a diagnosis and starting treatment early. The integrity or overall health of the oral cavity is greatly influenced by many factors, one of which is the immune system and any fluctuations in your overall immunity, such as during exam time, illness, personal stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, immuno-compromised patients, etc., will usually have an effect on your oral health, presenting with some form of lesion or change as a result. And when the underlying cause has been identified, diagnosed and effectively treated.managed, the oral condition usually responds as well and clears up - as a result of the improved systemic immunity. Also bear in mind that the mouth is just one part of the human body and its functioning cannot be isolated from the rest of the body - this means that it has the potential to affect the rest of the body and the rest of the body has the potential to affect it, and when the mouth gets affected due to a systemic event elsewhere in the body, it responds correspondingly and develops unfamiliar lesions, colour changes, cracks/fissures, ulcers, white or red patches, changes in taste, changes in breathe odor, vague non-specific intra-oral pain/discomfort symptoms, and so many more. When it seems as if a patients' symptoms start to form part of a large picture that needs to be investigated further, then it is best to start at the beginning in order to uncover the mystery, and the first stage is diagnosis. Without a positive diagnosis of what this is, no treatment should start because no one knows for sure what it is that they are treating or how it will respond to the treatment. Once this has been diagnosed, it will also give you some peace of mind because then it has a name, has been found in others in the past and there are specific guidelines for its treatment and prognosis. It is vital to establish is what you are experiencing in your mouth a result of something else, or is this the primary focus.

You may require some blood tests just to rule out things like immuno-deficiency, blood disorders, hormonal imbalances, STD's, etc and give your doctor idea of the functioning and general health of your body. If anything is identified after that, then more specific tests will be requested until a positive diagnosis can be made. Just to mention it, your symptoms fit the description of a condition known as Sjogrens Disease very closely, which affects women about 9 times more than men, lucky us lol, and at any age although usually over 35 years old. This can be tested for with a variety of tests, I thought I would mention it for completion sake and not to alarm to in any way - it is one of the many auto-immune diseases which can present in the mouth, where the functioning of the immune system is somewhat disturbed and the body produces antibodies to tissues/organs in your own body.

If your symptoms have their primary origin in the mouth, then this must be investigated further and managed by your dentist, possibly with collaboration with your doctor and/or specialist.

It is important that you say that your weight loss is only a recent event and as a result of the lesion itself, making eating more difficult.  It would, of course, be very difficult to know if your weight would have changed had the lesion not been as painful, with all the other symptoms present. By that I mean, is your weight loss another sign/symptom of this suspected condition, or merely because of the pain from the lesion of lower gum. Either way, keeping up your diet and maintaining adequate nutrition is vital, not only to to support your immune system and give your body enough of its building blocks in order to repair and maintain its organs/tissues and structures, but to enable you to carry on doing what you should be/want to be doing. While the lesion is still sore, I suggest that you get yourself something like a protein shake or general carbohydrate mass builders which you tackle take in liquid form, so that at least you  give body what it needs to keep going. Starving yourself is only going to aggravate the situation more, bringing on more pain, worsening of symptoms and lower emotional happiness for you.  If there is a recent factor which are aware of in your life which could account for a suspected drop in you immune system integrity, such as exams, a new boyfriend, breaking up, moving house, moving schools, bullying, pregnancy, parents divorcing/separating, a death in the family or friends, etc, then speak to a counselor, teacher or parent about it and give yourself the peace of mind that all be okay in the end - you just have to get there the safest way possible...

From my experience and given you age, I really do not think you have anything to worry about, but I would make an appointment with your GP and describe your symptoms so that a diagnosis can be made.  Mention it to your dentist as well and confirm any diagnosis with them once this has been made.

For immediate, temporary relief of your symptoms, you can make a very effective mouth wash with 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 teasp salt and 1/4 teasp bicarb dissolved well. Rinse your mouth at least 3 times a day and after each meal for about 20 secs. This will help maintain the pH of your mouth, act as a anti-bacterial agent and facilitate the healing process as much as it can. You can also get throat lozenges with anesthetic, giving you temporary relief for eating.

I must say, well done to for for being so in tune and aware of your body to spot these changes and for taking the initiative to get the help you need - it says a lot about you as a person. I hope this has helped and I wish all the very best further.  Please let me know what the outcome is once you know, or feel free to contact me again should you have any further question. Take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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