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Sore throat, gingivitis, mouth sores and other mouth and lip problems


Author: Matic Konc

resources used

published: 18.07.2019

updated: 15.05.2024


Sore throat with difficulty swallowing is a fairly common problem in people of all ages. There are many different causes for a sore throat, but the most common is an upper respiratory infection.


Angina is a very common disease. It is most common in children up to puberty, but it also often occurs in adults. Angina is caused by a sore throat due to infection with viruses or bacteria


The word itself comes from Latin and means “choking,” the most common  (in 80%) the cause of sore throat is viral angina. Of these, the most common causes are adenoviruses, but often also cold viruses (rhinoviruses and coronaviruses) and orthomyxoviruses (influenza viruses). Sore throat due to bacterial angina is less common, and the most common cause is group A beta hemolytic streptococcus. Bacterial angina can often occur as a secondary infection to viral angina if the sore throat is ignored.


Bacterial infection

Streptococcal angina is accompanied by a sore throat

Bacteria are responsible for a sore throat in 5-15% in adults , more often in children. The most common bacterial cause of sore throat is group A beta hemolytic streptococcus.  Infection cannot be distinguished from viral infection by clinical examination. Confirmation is only possible by taking a throat swab. Typical signs of bacterial angina are:

  • sore throat, 

  • fever (above 38 ° C), 

  • enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

  • Purulent plugs on almonds

If signs such as runny or runny nose, redness of the sclera, hoarseness and canker sores in the mouth are present, a sore throat is unlikely to be due to a bacterial infection and more likely to be a viral agent.


Cold virus infection

A sore throat occurs with a cold

A cold or flu is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is usually harmless, but annoying as it causes runny nose and sore throat. It most commonly occurs in children up to the age of six , but it can also occur several times a year in adults. 

Colds are caused by various viruses, but the most common causes are rhinoviruses and coronaviruses.


Sore throat and other signs of a cold go away in seven to ten days without treatment, and in smokers they can last longer. Usually the common cold is accompanied by signs such as runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, mild headache, general malaise, mild fever. Possible complications of the common cold are:

  • Inflammation of the middle ear

  • Inflammation of the sinuses

  • very sore throat due to secondary streptococcal infection (angina)

  • other secondary infections such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia

  • A cold can trigger an asthma attack in asthmatics

Influenza virus infection

A sore throat can be a sign of the flu

A sore throat, in addition to other symptoms, is usually accompanied by an infection with the flu virus. It is a very common infectious viral infection , accompanied by the following signs:

  • Sudden high body temperature above 38 ° C

  • joint pain

  • Fatigue and exhaustion

  • dry and irritating cough

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • loss of appetite

  • Sleep problems

  • Diarrhea and abdominal pain

  • Vomiting



Chronic cough due to constant irritation can also cause a sore throat. The cough is chronic if it lasts more than eight weeks. Chronic cough is most often the result of smoking, reflux disease of the esophagus, or asthma. When coughing, air travels through the upper respiratory tract at a speed of over 150 km / h . If this happens often, the mucous membrane of the throat and larynx becomes dry and irritated, causing a sore throat, and in addition, the mucous membrane is more susceptible to infection.


Sore throats can also be caused by canker sores in the mouth. Aphthous stomatitis , otherwise known as mouth sores, is a common problem in otherwise healthy individuals. The word comes from the Greek word aphtha, which means “oral ulcer”. These are harmless and non-infectious and recurrent, ulcers on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. If canker sores in the mouth occur in the area of the throat and pharynx, they are also accompanied by a sore throat, which is often mistaken for angina. 

Canker sores in the mouth are the most common problem in the oral cavity and affect up to 66% of people. Periods of impairment last about 10 days without treatment and occur several times a year. During individual periods, canker sores in the mouth disappear completely. The reason why canker sores occur in the mouth is not clear, but it is related to the immune system, as ulcers are infiltrated with T lymphocytes. , it is true, however, that in younger children the first infection with the herpes virus can manifest itself as foot - and - mouth disease. gingivostomatitis, which, however, begins similar to canker sores in the mouth. 

Canker sores in the mouth most often occur with a drop in immunity due to a lack of certain nutrients, allergies, hormonal influences or stress. They are more common in people who have relatives in the family, who also have canker sores in the mouth, and in people who have inflammation and ulcers in the stomach and intestinal mucosa.

What are the signs of mouth sores?

Canker sores in the mouth are caused exclusively by problems in the oral cavity and are not accompanied by systemic signs. It is characterized by strong, burning pain that seems disproportionate to the size of the ulcer. The pain is greatly increased when canker sores in the mouth come in contact with food, especially if it is acidic or burning. If canker sores in the mouth are located in the throat area, swallowing problems and a sore throat are typical.

Canker sores in the mouth usually begin with red spots on the mucosa that develop into ulcers covered with a yellowish gray membrane. The ulcer is surrounded by redness.

canker sores in the mouth


Herpes is an unpleasant rash on the skin around the lips, but it can also be in the pubic area . It begins with itching, and then within a few days a blistering rash forms, which eventually penetrates and a shallow ulcer forms on which a scab forms. It lasts up to four weeks without treatment , but it can be suppressed so that herpes does not develop at all if treatment is started in the itchy phase. 

Herpes is caused by the Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. It is transmitted by direct contact. Herpes infection is not dangerous for healthy adults, but it can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening for newborns who do not yet have a developed immune system and the virus can penetrate the brain.


The first infection with the herpes simplex virus most often occurs in childhood and sometimes manifests as gingivistomatitis or pancreatitis, and sometimes as a common herpetic rash . In the pancreas, there is swelling of the gums and heavy salivation and ulcers in the oral cavity, which are similar to canker sores in the mouth . Inflammation of the gums, sore throat and mucous membranes make it impossible to eat hard food.  After the first infection, the immune system isolates the virus, which persists in the bodies of local sensory neurons. When there is a drop in immunity due to illness, stress and other factors, the Herpes virus starts to multiply again and travels along the nerve to the skin and causes a rash again. 



Gingivitis or gingivitis is an extremely common problem of the oral cavity, as it occurs at least once in a lifetime in each individual. The most common form is gingivitis in response to bacterial plaque on the surface of the teeth. If gum inflammation is neglected and left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis . Often, gingivitis does not progress to periodontitis, but periodontitis always develops from normal gingivitis. Periodontitis can then progress to severe inflammation of the gums and periodontal tissues with bleeding, a pocket is made between the tooth and the gums, which is an ideal breeding ground for even more bacteria, and eventually the tooth begins to wobble and fall out.

In children, gingivitis and a sore throat may be accompanied by the first infection with the herpes virus, which manifests as pancreatitis or herpetic gingivostomatitis.


How does gingivitis work?

plaque forms on the surface of the teeth, which is the most common cause of gingivitis. Dental plaque is a clear, sticky film that forms when bacteria present in the oral cavity metabolize sugars from food.

If plaque is not removed by brushing, it eventually mineralizes, becomes hard and turns into tartar , which is even harder to remove, in addition to providing additional protection to bacteria, which in turn leads to gingivitis.

Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and periodontal disease, which is severe inflammation of the gums and periodontal tissues that can lead to tooth loss.

How does gingivitis manifest itself?

Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and tightly surround the teeth. Inflammation of the gums is manifested by the following signs:

  • Swollen and soft gums

  • Dark red gums

  • bleeding gums when brushing are the first sign of gingivitis

  • Bad breath

  • Sore gums

  • Pockets between gum and tooth

  • in pancreatitis or herpetic gingivostomatitis, the above symptoms are accompanied by salivation, sores similar to mouth sores and a sore throat.

Question mark shaped mouths.jpg


What causes a sore throat?

A sore throat can be the result of various factors, such as viral or bacterial infections, allergies, dry air, irritation from cigarette smoke or chemical substances, as well as excessive strain on the vocal cords.

How can we relieve a sore throat at home?

To relieve a sore throat at home, use Smrekovit oral spray, warm drinks such as teas with honey, taking throat lozenges, humidifying the air with a humidifier, and resting.

What are canker sores in the mouth and how do we treat them at home?

Canker sores are small, painful sores that are white or yellow in color with a red border. They can be caused by injuries, stress, certain foods or vitamin deficiencies. To eliminate canker sores at home, use Smrekovit oral spray.

How can we treat gingivitis at home?

Inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis, causes red, swollen and bleeding gums. For treatment at home, regularly brush and floss your teeth, use Smrekovit oral spray, rinse your mouth with antiseptic solutions and use an appropriate toothpaste. Avoiding sugary foods and improving oral hygiene can also help.

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