Causes of Stomatitis

The causes of stomatitis are an inflammatory process on the mucous membranes with the formation of ulcers and erosion. As a rule, the foci of inflammation are localized only in the mouth, but in rare cases they affect the skin on the legs, the mucous membrane of the genitals, and appear on the hands and face. Ulcers itch and hurt, cause severe discomfort to the patient. Stomatitis has many forms and types that are distinguished by the symptomatology and localization of erosion. Each of these forms is of its own nature, stomatitis is fungal and viral, traumatic and allergic, bacterial. Some of them are transmitted in contact with the patient. To search for the best medicine, you need to know exactly all the causes of this phenomenon. They have not yet been fully studied, but the main factors and triggers are already known.

Favorable conditions for the disease

All types of stomatitis have a general list of favorable conditions, the combination of which increases the risk of a disease in a healthy person. The same conditions provoke relapses in those who have repeatedly experienced stomatitis. During the outbreak, the patient develops a number of unpleasant symptoms: weakness, pain when talking and swallowing, bad breath. Each person would like to avoid such signs. If you know the causes and factors that provoke the development of stomatitis, you can protect yourself from this problem.

Oral injuries

When injuring the mucous membrane, a wound is formed, which serves as a direct path for pathogens. Through the wound, bacteria, fungi and viruses easily penetrate the soft tissues.

As a result of the vital activity and reproduction of these organisms, a focus of inflammation appears, erosion is formed and the process of decay develops. In healthy people, traumatic stomatitis appears with an accidental bite of soft tissues, damage with hard particles of food, for example, bone from fish or meat.

Also, the cause for the appearance of stomatitis is improperly installed crowns and braces, a deformed tooth with sharp edges. In this case, the oral cavity is damaged systematically, so wounds appear often. After tooth extraction, white deposits may also appear in the opened wound. In children, mucosal injuries are common, as the child can easily damage the oral cavity with foreign objects. Traumatic stomatitis can even occur in babies with teething.

This type of disease is not transmitted and does not require specific treatment. The wound heals quickly, after which no scars or other marks remain. If the lesions are systematic, this can lead to a deeper injury and severe pain. To speed up the healing process, it is good enough to monitor the hygiene of the teeth and oral cavity.


The etiology of this disease includes the loss of moisture by the body. The composition of saliva plays an important role in oral health. Saliva promotes easy swallowing, promotes articulation, and has antiseptic properties. Thanks to it, the majority of pathogens when ingested do not lead to disease. However, if the amount and composition of saliva changes, this can cause stomatitis. Such changes occur during dehydration. At the same time, the composition of saliva and its quantity change.

Dehydration occurs with infections, too dry air, temperature, and gastrointestinal diseases. As a result, the usual biological environment in the mouth changes, the protective properties of the body decrease, and the risk of infection increases. An adult can easily identify signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, thirst, rare urination, dizziness. At the same time, the child becomes moody, refuses to eat, urine acquires a dark color, tears do not stand out during crying, lips stick together.

To eliminate this factor, it is recommended to avoid overheating, drink mineral-rich water, and ventilate the room. With the loss of a large amount of water, a weak pulse, confusion, fainting is observed. In such a situation, you should not try to solve the problem yourself, but urgently contact an ambulance.


Personal hygiene serves as prevention and one of the methods of treating stomatitis. Most likely to get sick in those patients who are poorly watching the condition of the oral cavity. Plaque on the teeth, caries, food debris form the basis for the reproduction of harmful microorganisms. If the mucous membrane was broken, against the background of low hygiene, the likelihood of erosion increases greatly. Also, during treatment of an already developed disease, patients are shown to regularly rinse their mouth with antiseptic agents, brush their teeth with paste without sodium lauryl sulfate (LSH).

In the framework of relapse prevention, it is also recommended to abandon oral products that contain SLF, choose a brush of medium hardness, rinse your mouth after eating and drinking. Of great importance is the hygiene not only of the teeth, but also of the whole body. Since microorganisms can cause stomatitis, it is important to wash your hands after visiting the toilet and the street, do not use household items of a sick person. Nursing mothers for the prevention of candidal and herpes stomatitis in a child need to monitor the cleanliness of children's underwear and clothes, breasts, wash their hands before feeding.


One of the causes of stomatitis and its relapse is called a lack of vitamins and minerals. The connection between the inflammatory process in the oral cavity and the lack of such components was especially revealed:

  • zinc;
  • selenium;
  • iron;
  • B vitamins: B12, B6, B5, B2, B1;
  • vitamin C.

Vitamin deficiency reduces the protective functions of the body and weakens it as a whole. Therefore, like poor hygiene, it can become a favorable condition for inflammation. Also, a lack of nutrients can become an independent cause of the disease, even if there are no other provoking factors. Erosions and sores on the skin and mucous membranes are a signal that something is wrong in the body. Thus, the body speaks of failures in its own life support systems.

Vitamin deficiency can also be a secondary cause of unpleasant symptoms. In moments of strong physical overstrain, stress, emotional breakdowns, the body consumes useful substances in doubled quantities. Therefore, constant "work for wear" or mental stress can cause vitamin deficiency, and it, in turn, cause stomatitis. Psychosomatics is also considered as the cause of the disease, but so far not presented as an official factor.

Poor nutrition

This factor contains several aspects at once: lack of vitamins and harmful components. So, too fatty, fried, spicy or sour food disrupts the digestive tract. The body reacts to this by the appearance of foci of inflammation. Also, too salty foods provoke dehydration, which, as already mentioned, causes stomatitis. Food additives: flavors, flavor enhancers, stabilizers also have a bad effect on the state of health, therefore, they create the right base for any diseases.

In addition, erosion and ulcers may result from food allergies. It’s not necessarily citrus or chocolate, it can be a reaction to nutritional supplements. To protect yourself from many health problems, including stomatitis, you should pay attention to your eating habits. Recommendations - classic for proper nutrition:

  1. Only fresh foods should be consumed.
  2. Be sure to introduce fortified foods and drinks into the diet.
  3. Reduce the amount of fried food in favor of boiled, stewed, baked.
  4. Do not get involved in seasonings and sugar.
  5. Eat in moderation when the body needs it.

For patients with progressive inflammation on the tongue, cheeks, lips, there is a list of individual rules. Food during illness should be high-calorie, well chopped (in the form of soups or mashed potatoes), without a bright sour or pungent taste.

Hormonal fluctuations

The relationship between the level of hormones and cases of stomatitis is noted. So, in women in the first trimesters of pregnancy, erosion in the mouth is much more likely. The same picture haunts women with chronic and recurrent stomatitis before menstruation and during them. Deficiency of thyroid hormones and insulin deficiency most often provoke an angular type of disease in which cracks and blisters form in the corners of the mouth.

The first outbreaks of stomatitis are more often observed in children and adolescents, this is associated, including with an unstable hormonal background. The use of hormonal drugs can serve as a cause of the disease, as well as a treatment method.

Side effects of drugs and chemotherapy

Some groups of medications can greatly reduce immunity. In particular, chemotherapy affects all organs, leads to memory and digestive disorders, weakens the immune system. If the patient is undergoing or undergoing chemotherapy, the risk of problems with the oral mucosa increases. Of course, no one will cancel the treatment of cancer due to the risk of stomatitis, but these chances can be reduced. To do this, patients are advised to simply avoid all other triggers: malnutrition, poor hygiene, stress, etc.

As mentioned above, the course of hormonal medications sometimes leads to the same consequences. It is also noted that relapses and first outbreaks occur while taking antibiotics and immunosuppressants. This is another reason to abandon self-medication, as improper drugs give unexpected results. Medical stomatitis manifests itself in different ways, it can be small rashes on the oral mucosa, or an extensive rash on the face, arms and legs. If symptoms of stomatitis appear, you should consult a dentist, gynecologist or dermatologist, depending on the location of the rashes. Also, the doctor needs to be informed about all the medications that have been taken recently. This is not only tablets, but also syrups, ointments, sprays, etc.


Among the main provocateurs of erosion in the mouth, some hygiene products are also named. Toothpastes and rinses, which include sodium lauryl sulfate, provoke irritation and inflammation of the mucosa. This is due to the fact that the substance greatly overdries the oral cavity, damages the natural protective layer. As a result, with the slightest damage or increased acidity, for example from fruits, the mucous membrane is covered with foci of inflammation. You can find this component in a paste or rinse aid under the name:

  • sodium lauryl sulfate;
  • SLS
  • sodium dodecyl sulfate;
  • SDS

This substance, with prolonged use, even in a healthy person, causes hair loss, gum formation, dry skin and peeling. Unfortunately, most cosmetics and toothpastes contain LSH, as it is designed for foaming.

To prevent stomatitis, it is recommended to choose toothpastes and fluids without this component.


The presence of the described factors only creates favorable conditions for the disease, the main cause of stomatitis in most cases is pathogens. If a person has reduced immunity, lacks vitamins, bad teeth, or has undergone treatment with drugs, the risk of inflammation increases, but you also need a pathogen. Stomatitis by the type of provocateurs is distinguished into bacterial, fungal and viral.


Infectious stomatitis occurs in people of any gender and age, including infants. The causative agents are streptococci and staphylococci. They can enter the body through dirty hands, in contact with patients. Also, bacterial inflammation occurs from the development of microbes on diseased teeth. When these microorganisms enter the wound in the mucosa, a small ulcer forms, a white coating appears on the tongue. Symptoms of bacterial infection are fever, redness of the mucosa and swelling, bleeding gums. In young children, sore throat and knee pain may occur.

Treatment consists in selecting the right drugs and establishing the exact pathogen. Therefore, self-medication does not give any results, and in some cases entails complications. Prevention of the bacterial type is typical for all forms of stomatitis: adherence to oral and body hygiene, the use of wholesome food and enough clean water.


In a weakened body, almost any type of virus can provoke viral stomatitis: influenza, herpes, measles, and so on. The body reacts to the invasion of a dangerous microorganism by the appearance of erosion and ulcers. In this case, stomatitis can occur not only in the mouth, but also on the external genitalia, tonsils, nasal mucosa. Most often, the causative agent of the viral form is the Koksaki group A virus, causing herpetic stomatitis. You can get infected through household items, in public transport, in pools and saunas, through blood and saliva. In this case, the mucous membrane of the mouth, pharynx and tonsils, genitals is affected.

The initial manifestation of the disease is swelling and redness, then light vesicles filled with liquid appear on the mucosa. Most often, with the viral nature of erosion, they form where the skin borders the mucous membrane, so a rash appears more often on the lips. Like bacterial, this type of disease requires treatment aimed at a specific pathogen. To do this, the doctor takes a scraping from erosion or aft, then selects therapy. Often, if untreated, viral stomatitis becomes acute or chronic, causing an aphthous or ulcerative necrotic type.


A very common form of the disease is candidal stomatitis. Its causative agent is Candida fungi, which are present in almost every organism. For a healthy person, they are not dangerous, since the immune system controls their growth. However, with weakened health, the amount of fungus increases, so this type of disease is more common in older people and infants. The fungus also enters through dirty hands, young children become infected by breastfeeding. During natural childbirth, the baby may become infected if the woman has thrush.

The main distinguishing feature of fungal stomatitis is a thick white coating on the inside of the cheeks and tongue, in infants this coating covers almost the entire oral mucosa. In some areas, a rash is formed, white spots that itch and hurt while eating and talking. There is also a metallic taste in the mouth, sometimes cracks in the corners of the mouth. With complications, the fungus enters the esophagus, can be introduced into the genitals and the anus. Correct treatment should also be selected by the doctor after a confirmed diagnosis, especially for newborns and children under the age of 10 years.

How is transmitted

As you can see, most of the factors considered can be avoided. For example, monitor the cleanliness of teeth and hands, eat right, periodically take vitamins and minimize alcohol. However, stomatitis is transmitted from a healthy person to a sick person, this can happen in a close working team, in kindergarten, in a minibus. Controlling this process is quite difficult. Especially dangerous is the viral type, which can occur in a latent form.The carrier person then infects others, although he does not experience any symptoms.

There are many ways to get stomatitis: from mother to baby, with a kiss, by airborne droplets, through a handshake or sex. Of all types of the disease, the allergic and traumatic types are not transmitted. Also, stomatitis caused by a weakening of the body during chemotherapy or treatment with other medicines is not transmitted. In any case, it is better for a healthy person not to use personal items of the patient, to avoid close contacts. At the first symptoms, it is better not to lead the child to the kindergarten, but to show the dentist.

Stomatitis - the disease is not severe, it can be easily treated and passes quickly. But this is not a reason not to treat him, since a simple disease can lead to complications. A dentist and proper treatment tactics will help get rid of edema, itching, pain and an unpleasant odor faster. To avoid unpleasant symptoms of the disease, it is important to know the causes and factors that cause it.

The author of the article:
Izvozchikova Nina Vladislavovna

Specialty: infectious disease specialist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist.

Total length of service: 35 years.

Education: 1975-1982, 1MI, San Gig, highest qualification, infectious diseases doctor.

Science degree: doctor of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences.


  1. Infectious diseases.
  2. Parasitic diseases.
  3. Emergency conditions.
  4. HIV
Other articles by the author

Watch the video: Canker Sores. How To Get Rid Of Canker Sores. Mouth Ulcer Treatment (November 2019).