Dentist Questions Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Skin is shedding on the inside of my mouth (my cheeks). Is this normal?

There are no sores in my mouth, but when I wake up I notice the skin on the inside of my cheeks seems to be peeling. Is it my toothpaste? I do not have any known allergies.

47 Answers

You can possibly be grinding during your sleep and might need a night guard. Get it checked! This is one possibility.
It may mean that you chew your cheeks yourself during night. Try before sleep to rest your mind, otherwise contact a dentist for a sleep brace.
Can definitely be your toothpaste. I find this common with people who use whitening toothpastes or agents. Some have shedding with certain mouth rinses as well
Best thing to do is speak with your primary doctor.
Does the skin only shed while you sleep??
Do you wear a nightguard?? When the shedding stared was there a change in your toothpaste?? Yes, if your toothpaste is new, it can cause an allergic reaction. Also, using a mouthwash may cause this... I would recommend seeing your dentist for further investigation.
What toothpaste or rinse do your use? Often times that can be the culprit. I have seen that sloughing off of "cheek skin" MANY times with people who use Crest ProHealth
Some toothpastes' can cause tissue sloughing like you are describing. You can try switching to a different toothpaste for a couple of weeks to see if that helps. You are always welcome to schedule an appointment if switching toothpaste doesn't work. Thanks for your question.
-Seabridge Dental
Yes, there are many toothpastes out there that causes the sloughing of tissue or more so the lining of the mucosa and you see whitish stringy sloughing. Crest Pro health toothpaste does this.
you ma have called bruxism,when you sleep you grind your teeth and may catch and chew your check on inner surface,get nightguard
When your tissue sheds or sloughs, it can be due to an extremely dry mouth, or to some sort of allergic reaction to your toothpaste or the foods you eat. It does not hurt to see your dentist to check it out.
Very often, toothpastes with whitening agents or tartar control formulas
can cause the mucosal tissue inside your mouth to slough off. Changing to
a plain toothpaste such as Crest original, may help solve the issue.
Should have an exam....could be eating your cheek or have a lesion....
Shedding inside your mouth is normal if you drink or eat any hot food or change your toothpaste. If shedding is not resolving in two weeks, or you have any white patches along the shedding, or you have any pain with the shedding, you need to be seen by a doctor asap.
Without seeing it first hand I can't be sure, but it sounds like you may be clenching or grinding at night and chewing up your inner cheek in the process. Have your dentist check it out.
This can be caused by your toothpaste. It is an ingredient that is used for anti tartar and sometimes it's the ingredients for bleaching
Hello and thank you for your question! Skin shedding is called tissue sloughing and it could occur when there is an allergy to certain foods, medications or oral care products. Dead skin cells are shed normally in the mouth however, certain toothpastes can accelerate this process. Also note that each person is different and there may be other causes for what you are seeing happening in your mouth. Please don’t hesitate to call our office for an evaluation! 570-343-4472. Thank you!
Your "skin", or oral mucosa is in a constant state of being sloughed and replaced. It may be more noticeable if you have eaten something that you may have a contact allergy to, it may be that way from a burn from hot food, or perhaps if you tend to sleep with your mouth open. Dry oral tissues tend to be more noticeably shedding. Best to perhaps try to really brush your teeth, gums, and tongue before and after you go to bed to minimize that feeling. If need be you can try to change tooth pastes. If that fails then it would probably be beneficial to seek medical attention.
Certain toothpastes formulations that include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), pyrophosphates and flavoring agents can cause peeling or sloughing of skin. I would recommend trying a different toothpaste.
Most likely you are having a reaction to ether the abrasives used in your toothpaste (Tarter Control or Whitening) or even from a mouthwash that has alcohol in it. It dries out the tissues. Sometimes people can use the same product for long periods of time and then all of a sudden become sensitive. Hope this helps…Stop the product and re-eval…if still occurring, see your dentist.

It might be a sensitivity to toothpaste if you have changed pastes recently. It might also be a dry mouth issue or sensitivity to any new foods or other oral products. If it persists for more than 2 weeks, see your dentist for an evaluation.
Sometime toothpaste can cause slight shedding of you gums. If you have recently started a new toothpaste, try to change it and see if that helps.
Peeling of the skin in your mouth is not normal but this does not mean that it is serious. It can be caused by your toothpaste and this is the most common cause of it that I see in my office. It can also be caused by medications, radiation therapy or an oral manifestation of certain diseases. You dentist should evaluate this to determine the cause.
I was reading your email again and you mentioned allergy. It is less known that some toothpastes may cause allergic reaction. Having said that the most common allergen in the toothpaste is Cinnamon. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask, sincerely Dr. Bednarski
It could be your toothpaste. If it contains sodium lauryl sulfate as an ingredient you may want to find one that does not. Some patients have had reactions to it such as canker sores and sloughing of tissue. Also you should rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing so that the toothpaste is not staying in your mouth while you sleep. It could also be the result of breathing through you mouth at night instead of your nose and drying out the gums and cheek. Also alcohol and mouth washes with high percentages of alcohol can cause this. Let me know if you have any other questions -Dr. Bishop
It could be a mild reaction to Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS), a common ingredient in some soaps and shampoos. Consider switching toothpastes and monitoring symptoms. Also rinse thoroughly with water after brushing your teeth at night.
Some brands of toothpaste cause peeling of the mucosal layer of mouth which looks like a whitish coating. however I would suggest getting it evaluated by your dentist to rule out any other condition.
Sloughing or peeling of cheek mucosa or lip mucosa is a somewhat common phenomena with certain formulations  of tooth pastes, Previous tartar control tooth pastes and now with some whitening toothpastes it has been reported. It is thought to be a mild allergic type reaction to ingredients in these tooth pastes. If it is a recent development since using a new type of tooth paste discontinue its use and switch to a formulation with out whitening or tartar control.Not having any known allergies does not preclude you from having this type reaction with these tooth pastes. Sloughing or peeling cheek tissue can have other causes. Habits of cheek or lip biting can cause a type of peeling or sloughing of tissue with out frank or notable sores. There are some more serious types of conditions that can cause tissue peeling or sloughing of mucosa in the oral cavity(mouth).Some of local and some of systemic (whole body) origin. So if switching to a different formulation of tooth paste does not clear the problem up, you should see a dentist soon for an evaluation.Dr. Grimm.
It can be a variety of things, but sounds like dehydration to me. Some medications can cause dehydration of your mucus. If this is not the case, you should see a dentist.
Change your toothpaste but without some of the ingredients in your present toothpaste. Check with an allergist or an oral pathologist.
It is most likely something caustic to your tissues. Toothpaste, mouthwash, even gum. If you are using anything new, discontinue it's use.  Another problem is clenching or grinding.  You can habitually bite and grind during the night which can result in the shredding of the insides of your cheeks. If this is the case, get a night guard to prevent the issue entirely. 
Francis C Mecadon DMD

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
This is an unusual question and the answer depends on several factors. You do not mention whether you are male or female. You mention you are not allergic however new toothpaste mouth rinse or even food ingested that is different than usual by taste or component nutrients could have caused this irritation. Not to mention acidic contact with too much lemons food supplements such as salt or even citrus fruit or ketchup. So the solution becomes complicated with possible medication reaction leading to sloughing of the intraoral mucosa. Pathologic manifestations need to be discovered my medications and or immune reactions which need to be studied by microscopic slides and culture. An oral surgeon would do this culture only after you have done an inventory of either ingested Foods or changes in medication or any other extraoral coincidental lesions of the body. This culture would be prepared and sent to a lab where in the histologic examination buy microscope and or stains to determine the cause or etiology. Not to worry most intraoral manifestations as you describe tend to be taken care of by the body's own immunity once the local irritation is removed. My recommendation would be to spend a suitable amount of time preparing a list of possible things you might have ingested that could cause the reaction since it is evidently only recently discovered. Keep in mind that pathology deals with time and duration of the abnormality, how it has grown in size or shape or color and how its texture feels do the tongue or by palpation with your fingers. The rest has to be determined histologically by a pathologist specifically an oral pathologist. An oral surgeon is the gatekeeper to this examination.
It is possible that your toothpaste may be the cause. Have you recently changed the type of toothpaste you are using? I had a similar reaction using Crest Pro Health Toothpaste. It could also be a sensitivity to SLS (sodium laurel sulfate). Many toothpastes contain this ingredient as it makes the toothpaste foam more. SLS is also found in products like shampoo. I would try changing to a new toothpaste and see if the issue resolves. Then you will know for sure.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Rankin
Very possible, it is your toothpaste - because it's the easiest thing to try, just switch to another toothpaste and see if the condition improves. If not, then see your dentist to have it diagnosed.
Your skin in your mouth called mucosa sheds naturally in the same way ther skin on your body sheds. Normally, during the day, eating and talking helps the shed mucosa to slough off. During the night when sleeping, these activities are not going on so upon waking, you may notice loose mucosa coming off. This is normal as long as there is no discoloration or sores.
If the inside of your mouth is peeling, you could be having a mild reaction to your toothpaste. Try switching to another toothpaste to see if the peeling stops. If this condition persists after switching for two weeks, it could mean something more serious such as periodontal disease, gingivitis or perhaps another condition. Follow up with your dentist, especially if there are no changes or the peeling becomes worse.
It sounds like the mucosa is sloughing for some reason. This can happen when the tissue becomes excessively dry or something is irritating the tissue. Often caused by toothpaste with whitening.

Dr Jensen
One possibility may be your toothpaste or mouthwash contains alcohol which may cause dry mouth at night time. You can change them to see if it makes a difference. The more probable cause is teeth grinding which may also cause soreness and skin peeling inside the cheeks. A good mouth guard will help to protect both the teeth and cheeks. Please let me know if you have any further concerns or questions. Good luck!
The shedding of the cheek skin is most likely associated with cheek biting. In addition to cheek biting, you may be a bruxier, grinding your teeth while sleeping. See your dentist for further evaluation.
In most cases this could be normal tissue sloughing that occurs. If you recently changed a toothpaste or your diet and are noticing this more often now, that may be the culprit. Best to get a dental professional to assess to be sure that it is not anything else.
This is something we typically see in response to an allergic reaction. Usually it is an ingredient in toothpaste that is the culprit, but it could be a variety of other causes. It can be annoying, but not usually harmful. If sores or bleeding begin to occur, you should see your dentist. Hope this answers your question.

Jossi Stokes, DDS
The shedding of tissue you described I have experienced with certain toothpaste and mouthwashes. Switch back to one that did not give you the shedding of tissue, and see your dentist for a follow up.
Waking up with cheek mucosal sloughing is a normal occurrence. Sometimes simple things like changing toothpaste/mouthrinse, clenching, or even an allergy to existing restorations can cause this. If you notice that it is along your occlusal plane, this is due to clenching. In that situation, consult with your dentist about getting a night guard. If it is in fluctuating areas, try to remember if you recently changed anything in your routine. Switch back to your old toothpaste or mouth rinse. Also, adding warm salt water rinses to your regimen can help. Personally, I notice sloughing of my mucosal right near my only amalgam filling during times of stress. Amalgam contains trace amounts of nickel. Those with nickel allergies sometimes have slight reactions. Consider all of these possibilities and remember there is nothing to be alarmed about!
This doesn't seem normal; however it's better to go to the doctor to know about it more and to know what to do next if it's something serious or not. If you want to know more about it, you can come to my Dental office for assistance and I can consult you for free. My phone number is 647 351 2667. Our dental office is located in suite 507-4430 Bathurst street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 3S3. Just call my number for further details. If no one answers, leave a message and I will contact you back. Thank you and have a blessed day. God bless!
Probably not your toothpaste (although some people are sensitive to sodium lauryl sulfate which is in most toothpastes). It could be from mouth breathing and the drying out of the mucosal tissue inside your cheeks. It can also happen if you are contracting your cheek muscles while you sleep. People usually do this if they grind or clench due to sleep apnea, GERD, or some medications that cause grinding/clenching. There are other diseases that can cause this as well such as leukoedema, leukoplakia, pre-cancerous dysplasia, vitamin B deficiency, etc. so you should have your dentist take a look to get a diagnosis.
Great question!

Many times we’ll see this in our patients when they come in for their check-ups. The clinical appearance is that the lining of the cheek appears to be sloughing off. The most common cause appears to be a correlation with a new toothpaste that they are using. I have found most of the time it is a toothpaste that features tartar control as one of the benefits of using this particular toothpaste. There are many brands available. But there appears to be a correlation with sloughing of the tissue and tartar control toothpaste. This does not happen to everyone. Some patients, like myself, are just sensitive to the chemicals in the tartar control toothpaste.

So the first thing to check if you are having “shedding on the inside of the mouth” is to ask yourself the question ‘did I recently change toothpaste?’ and ‘am I using a tartar control toothpaste?’

Happy brushing and flossing!

Dr. Joe Ferrini
I do not believe it is the toothpaste. Without having a look at the area, I cannot provide a definitive answer of what it is. I do suspect it is due to friction from the teeth from possible movement of the face i.e. teeth against the cheek while you sleep. When did you notice this happening and is this the first occurrence? Has it happened before? How many times has it happened?

Most likely however, it is nothing to worry about and as long as it resolves could be an incidental situation. For peace of mind and accuracy, it is best to see a dentist for visual confirmation.
At times I see that when people have changed to a new toothpaste or a new mouthwash they can have a reaction to it, so possibly switch your toothpaste or mouthwash and see if there's any different results. I see that when people have a stringy/ropy pieces of tissue sloughing off in the mouth and usually a change helps this.