We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
An ulcer is an area where part of the skin is missing and thus the underlying sensitive raw areas are exposed. The mouth has a lot of nerve endings and so mouth ulcers are often very sore. A mouth ulcer is a painful condition which can negatively affect a person’s life. Its normally nothing to worry about and will clear on its own in a few weeks. Sometimes, the cause of the ulcer is more of a concern. How to you know the pain in your mouth is a mouth ulcer and what are the best treatment options?
A person may feel pain on their tongue which could be focused on a specific spot.
Alongside the pain, having one or more sores on the skin which become more aggravated when eating food which is either salty, spicy or sour are symptoms to spot.
When opening your mouth, a person may see a round or oval ulcer or canker sore.
This can be a whitish appearance or sometimes red, yellow or grey.
Causes of mouth ulcers include:
- Accidentally biting the inside of your cheek
- Injury from a toothbrush (such as slipping while brushing)
- Constant rubbing against misaligned or sharp/broken teeth
- Constant rubbing against dentures or braces
- Burns from eating hot food
- Irritation from strong antiseptics, such as a mouthwash
- Viral injections such as the herpes simplex viral infection
- Reaction to certain medications
- Skin rashes in the mouth (for example, lichen planus)
- Autoimmune disease
- Underlying vitamin or iron deficiency
- Underlying gastrointestinal disease such as Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease
- Oral cancer.
When to worry
Sore mouth ulcers that do not heal within several weeks can indicate mouth cancer, advises the NHS.
“Mouth cancer is increasingly common and is being seen in younger people and in more women probably as a result of sexual transmission,” said Carrie Newlands, consultant maxillofacial surgeon.
Human papillomavirus virus (HPV) is the name of a very common group of viruses and can cause mouth cancer.
Using condoms can help protect you against HPV.
Romama Kuchai, consultant ENT surgeon for Bupa UK said: “If you’re suffering from a mouth ulcer, the most likely cause is an injury to the inside of your mouth – for example, biting the inside of your cheek, rough fillings, a sharp tooth or a cut from eating hard food or drinking a hot drink.
“f you’re one of the unlucky individuals who suffers from these uncomfortable sores on a regular basis, there may also be an underlying factor.
“It is not always clear what causes regular mouth ulcers, but stress, anxiety and eating certain foods – such as chocolate, spicy foods and peanuts – can trigger them to return.
“Hormonal changes and stress can also be triggers. Your genes may also play a part, as frequent mouth ulcers can run in families.”
Treatment options include:
Avoid spicy and sour foods until the ulcers heal.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Keep your mouth clean.
Apply antiseptic gel to the ulcers.
Regularly rinse your mouth out with warm, slightly salted water, keeping the rinse in your mouth for up to four minutes at a time.
Use an alcohol-free medicated (preferably containing chlorhexidine gluconate) mouthwash twice daily.
Use a topical steroid mouthwash or ointment this is generally prescribed by your dentist or oral medicine specialist. If required in severe cases, immunosuppressant medication may be prescribed by your oral health professional.
Source: Read Full Article