Dental Problems

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth UlcersA mouth ulcer is a sore or an open lesion caused due to erosion or loss of the soft inner lining of the mouth (mucus membrane). It usually occurs on floor of the mouth, inside of the lips and cheeks, and under surface of the tongue. It may appear as one ulcer or more than one or a cluster. Normally it stays for 5 to 10 days and heals naturally and in severe cases it stays for several weeks.

Causes of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are caused due to so many reasons. Here are some:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral cancer
  • Oral thrush
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Canker sores in the mouth
  • Herpes simplex
  • Gingivostomatitis
  • Leukoplakia
  • Accidental biting
  • Rubbing inner cheeks and inner lips against braces or dentures
  • Hormonal changes
  • Menstruation
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Food allergies
  • Burns caused due to hot or spicy foods
  • Allergies or irritation caused due toothpastes or mouthwashes
  • Reactions to certain medications
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron
  • Certain diseases such as AIDS, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis and inflammatory bowel disease

Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers

  • Round open sores in the mouth
  • White or grey or yellow color sores
  • Pain or discomfort in the mouth
  • Swelling around the sore

Complications of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers very rarely cause complications. Generally they heal naturally or may stay for some days and can be easily treated. Complications associated with mouth ulcers are:

  • Bacterial infection in the mouth
  • In some cases the bacteria from the infected ulcer may spread to other areas of the mouth causing other dental, oral or throat problems.
  • Dental infections
  • In rare cases chronic mouth ulcers can develop into oral cancer

Prevention of Mouth Ulcers

  • Maintain proper oral hygiene
  • Visit your dentist at least twice in a year for dental check up and dental cleaning as these ulcers are linked to other oral problems
  • Manage your stress
  • Take a well balanced diet
  • If you are suffering from any underlying conditions such as diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, then manage these conditions properly
  • Sincerely avoid common causes mentioned above such as biting your inner cheeks or taking hot/spicy foods or using oral products that cause mouth ulcers etc.
  • Use soft brushes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Rinse your mouth with warm and slightly salted water

Treatment of Mouth Ulcers

The primary treatment includes following all the above mentioned preventive measures. Even they can be easily treated by some simple home remedies. You can easily get some over the counter gels or balms for this. Contact your doctor if the mouth ulcers stay for more than 2 weeks or occur frequently or causing any new symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe some gels or soothing balms or may treat the condition according to the severity and cause.

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