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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

How serious is this Sudden Rash?

12/16/2010

Question:

Hello! Two days ago, I developed a small, pretty painful rash inside my cheek on the lower right jawbone (just under the gums). It looks like granules of salt, and it`s white. It`s very painful to the touch, and seems rough (like salt would). It doesn`t seem to be getting any better or worse. I have been using both whitening toothpaste and listerine, and I`m about to stop both for non-whitening versions. I`m also going to try non-sweetened yogurt, to see if it`s a bacterial imbalance thing. I don`t smoke or do any drugs, and I drink socially. Does this sound like anything serious? Should I skip the self-diagnosis and get to a dentist immediately? Thanks!

Answer:

A sudden onset lesion such as you have described usually comes from some type of physical trauma such as a burn (either chemical or physical), scratch, or some other physical injury or a reaction to a substance to which you are allergic. 

From your description and history it is difficult to determine the cause. There are some diseases that also present with a localized rash. It would thus be best to see your dentist quickly for an accurate diagnosis. Most of the reasons for a sudden onset rash are self limiting and not serious. However, it is best to have an accurate diagnosis, especially if you might have an allergy to some substance.

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University