You might think you should only go to the dentist when there's a problem with your teeth. But dentists are dedicated towards maximum oral health and that process also involves your gums, tongue, and even the inside of your lips. There are a few common lip issues that can involve treatment from the dentist.
Cankers or Cold Sores
Canker sores and cold sores can present similarly with rounded open wounds. But the cause and the treatment vary depending on which type of sore you have.
Canker sores tend to be triggered by increases in stress or hormonal changes. These sores tend to be on the inside of your lip or on the bottom of your gum. The exterior rim of the sore is usually more red than the center. Canker sores aren't contagious and can be treated with a combination of numbing topical ointment and waiting for the sore to disappear on its own.
Cold sores stem from a version of the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Outbreaks can be triggered by stress, hormones, or an injury to the area. Cold sores are red throughout, which is one way for you to tell a cold sore from a canker sore. These sores also are more commonly found in groups, rather than an individual sore, and while they can occur inside the mouth, they tend to appear more often on the exterior of the lips. Treatment for cold sores includes an antiviral oral medication and a topical ointment.
Visit your dentist for sore treatment to receive prescription ointments and pills. Your dentist might also elect to perform a cleaning so that harmful oral bacteria doesn't get into the sores and worsen the problem.
Do you frequently bite the inside of your lip accidentally while chewing or talking? You likely have a bite issue such as an overbite or underbite that's placing one section of teeth closer to the lip than normal. Orthodontic treatment can help correct this problem, reduce your lip biting, and improve your general chewing abilities.
The exact treatment method will depend on the nature of the bite problem. These problems can occur due to misaligned teeth, an out of place section of jawbone, or both.
If the problem is only the teeth, then braces should prove sufficient treatment. Jawbone misalignment might need to be corrected with oral surgery to either remove a section of bone or graft in some bone to move the jaw into a better position. You might still need braces after the jaw repositioning if both the teeth and jaw had problems.