Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Mouth Diseases

Oral Tissue Sloughing

10/19/2009

Question:

I have noticed that the tissue inside my mouth (especially under my tongue and inside my cheeks) seems to constantly be sloughing off. I do not smoke, and I notice that the problem is worse after I eat dairy products and chew gum. I have tried milder toothpastes, which alleviate, but do not eradicate, the problem. I do not want to cut out dairy, as it is an important source of protein for me, and I chew regular gum, and not the hot cinnamon-flavored stuff. Is it possible that I may need to take an antibiotic, or is this a problem that I will just have to live with as long as I eat anything but spinach and plain oatmeal?

Thank you for your help.

Answer:

What you are describing sounds most similar to what has been called dentifrice-associated slough. This is a fancy term for peeling of the lining of your mouth due to the chemicals in toothpastes or mouthwashes or both. In essence, it's like a very mild form of chemical peel that dermatologists occasionally perform on damaged skin.

I would first stop using commercial toothpastes or mouthwashes altogether. Brush with baking soda and rinse with warm saltwater for at least a couple of weeks and see if the problem is "eradicated". If not, next stop using any form of gum or candy since people can react to ingredients other than cinnamon. Do this for another two weeks.

If the problem continues despite this gradual elimination process, you should see your dentist or a dental specialist such as an oral pathologist or oral surgeon for a personal consultation to exclude other possibilities, including a mild chronic fungal/yeast infection.

Thank you for visiting NetWellness and Good luck!

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University