How to Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers
Getting a sore in your mouth could be what is known as a mouth ulcer, or canker sore. These are different than cold sores, and they will usually disappear in less than two weeks. Although painful, mouth ulcers are not contagious.
About Mouth Ulcers
Another name for a mouth ulcer is aphthous ulcers and canker sores. These sores can appear at various times and then disappear. Most of the time, they will be rather small – less than one millimeter in diameter. On occasion, they can be as big as one inch, but that is rare. The smaller sores will heal without any scars, but the large ones will leave a scar.
When you are about to get a canker sore, you are likely to feel a burning or tingling sensation at that spot. It will start a couple of days before the sore appears.
Mouth Ulcer Symptoms
A mouth ulcer is a sore that occurs inside the mouth. It will have a red border, but the center of the sore will be white or yellow. It could be on the inside of the lips, on the tongue, or on the lining of the mouth, gums, or throat. They are painful. It can make it difficult to eat food or take drinks. Although the smaller ones will usually disappear in less than two weeks, the large ones may last six weeks or longer.
On occasion, other more serious symptoms may also be present. They include:
- Feeling sluggish
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Common Causes of Mouth Ulcers
It is not yet known what actually causes mouth ulcers. Certain medical conditions or circumstances are known to trigger or promote the condition. Some of them are:
- A lack of certain vitamins: A deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals is believed to behind the development of canker sores. The key vitamins are B-12, folic acid, iron, and zinc.
- An injury to the mouth: The mouth injury can be of almost any type. It could be a sports injury, dental, accidentally biting the inside of your mouth, etc.
- An allergic response to bacteria in your mouth: Certain bacteria may have gotten into the tissue and your immune system reacted against it, causing the canker sore.
- Sensitivities to certain foods: Eating some foods can cause mouth ulcers, particularly if you eat them often. Some foods known to produce problems in some people include coffee, cheese, eggs, nuts, strawberries, and spicy foods.
- Dental Appliances: Your braces or dentures may be rubbing your gums. A canker sore on that spot is often the first sign that you need to have them adjusted.
- Heredity: Having canker sores in the family makes it more likely that you will have them.
- Medications: Many medications are capable of producing conditions leading to a canker sore. The prime medicines include aspirin, NSAIDs, antibiotics, beta-blockers, chemotherapy medicines, and many more.
- Hormonal changes: Although mouth ulcers can occur at any age, they are most prominent in people who are between the ages of 10 and 40. Women are more likely to have canker sores than men, and these are often during menstruation.
- Emotional stress: When you get stressed, either emotionally or physically, it can result in canker sores.
- Toothpaste and mouthwashes: A certain chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate, which is used in toothpastes and mouthwashes, has been behind mouth ulcers in some people.
Self-Treatment and Prevention
Since the exact cause has not yet been determined, there is no way to prevent canker sores yet. You can ease the pain when eating by eating more bland foods that do not have a lot of spices in them.
Pain relief and mouth ulcer treatment can involve using an over-the-counter anesthetic of the kind used to relieve tooth pain. You can also rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to help kill bacteria and prevent infection of the mouth ulcer. Some over-the-counter medications that will coat the sore will also help to relieve pain.
You may also want to be sure that you are eating a healthy diet. Some peoples' mouth ulcers have improved when they made sure they were getting enough vitamin B -12, iron, zinc, and folic acid.
When to See a Dentist
Most of the time, the sores will go away on their own. There are some situations when you should contact a dentist for an oral exam and other help. These situations include occasions when:
- The sores become unusually large
- Last longer than two weeks
- Produce pain that is not controlled by self-care
- Make it very difficult to eat or drink
- You have a high fever with the sores
- New sores start before the old ones heal.
The dentist will take an oral exam to ensure other problems are not present. Medications can be provided that will help provide canker sore pain relief, which could include antibiotics, a prescription mouthwash, and possibly a corticosteroid ointment.
If you have mouth ulcers and need a mouth ulcer remedy, and if you live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, Dr. Kumar Vadivel DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified periodontist can help you. He provides mouth ulcer treatment to help you. For an appointment, or for more information, call today at (817) 756-8578.