Mouth ulcers are little sores that occur in the mouth. They are usually harmless but cause difficulty in eating, drinking, or brushing. The symptoms and effects of the ulcers may vary depending on the type of the ulcer, as there are numerous types of ulcers existing. So, let’s carefully understand its causes and preventive measures.
Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, must not be confused with mouth cancer. Ulcers may get healed within two weeks, whereas mouth cancer may be extremely hazardous.
Causes Of Mouth Ulcers
The exact cause of mouth ulcers is yet not known, and it may vary from person to person. However, some of the common causes of ulcers include:
- hard brushing or using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate
- having too much citrus or acidic foods may cause food sensitivities
- emotional stress
- dental braces
- bacterial, viral, and fungal infections
- hormonal changes
- lack of vitamin B-12, zinc, iron, and folate
- allergic reaction or sports injury
- chewing tobacco
Types Of Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers generally appear on the inner side of the cheeks and may last for about a week. It usually clears up by itself without any medications.
However, to cure the ulcers, you must be familiar with the types of ulcers that exist to diagnose them for yourself. There are three major types of mouth ulcers that include:
Herpetiform ulceration (HU)
This type of ulcer has a stark resemblance to the sores of herpes. And that’s why it is named herpetiform. It is a subtype of aphthous ulcers. Herpes is contagious while HU isn’t. But HU ulcers recur too often.
If you are suffering from symptoms like diarrhea, fever, or difficulty in breathing or eating, it may be a sign of minor ulcers that maybe last up to 15 days. If you do not take proper care towards its treatment, then it may extend up to the lips also.
Major ulcers, as the name suggests, consist of sores that are larger in comparison to the minor ones. It may take several weeks to get cured. The sores of major ulcers are raised and go deep into the tissue. It may leave scars for a long time.
Mouth ulcers generally don’t require any specific medications. They can go away after a few weeks or so. But if the pain becomes excruciating, you can consult your doctors.
Some of the common home remedies that can be used to cure ulcers include:
- Rinsing the mouth with saltwater and baking soda.
- Applying baking soda paste to the affected areas.
- Using Orajel or Anbesol.
- Applying milk of magnesia on the sores.
- Placing the used tea bags on the sores.
- Take vitamin B12 supplements or zinc supplements.
- Using chamomile tea, licorice root.
There are certain measures that you can take beforehand to prevent the development of mouth ulcers. Those include:
- Avoid eating acidic fruits like grapes, pineapple, lemon, or oranges in excess amount
- Avoid eating too spicy food
- Take vitamins and consume a balanced diet
- Chew the food carefully to avoid accidental bites
- Try to avoid using toothpaste or mouthwashes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate
Taking little steps can help reduce the chances of developing mouth ulcers. Even if you develop one, you can easily cure it within a few days using certain remedies. But, if the ulcer doesn’t get cured within a week or two, you must consult a doctor and seek medical help.
Also, you should regularly visit for dental checkups. Visiting a dentist twice a year would work. This will help you diagnose any ailments at an early stage making the treatment easier.