Do you have recurrent mouth ulcers and you’re not sure how to treat them? Mouth ulcers – also known as canker sores – are ulcers that occur on the mucous membranes in the mouth.
An ulcer is a rupture in your mucous membrane or skin that results in tissue surface disintegration, loss of surface, and necrosis. They are usually painful, often making it difficult for you to eat, drink, or clean your teeth.
Because of the difficulty that you have with eating, mouth ulcers can also affect your food choices since certain foods may cause you more pain. Individual mouth ulcers can form or many ones can appear at the same time.
Although they’re uncomfortable, they’re normally harmless and sometimes go away on their own after a week or two.
Mouth ulcers are common, and they may typically be treated at home without the need to consult a dentist or a doctor.
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What causes recurrent mouth ulcers or blisters?
Mouth ulcers are normally treatable at home, however, your pharmacist may suggest you see your doctor or dentist if:
- Your mouth ulcer has lasted for more than three weeks
- You keep getting mouth ulcers
- Your mouth ulcer grows more painful or red. This could be an indication of a bacterial infection that requires antibiotic therapy.
If your mouth ulcers keep returning, it’s probably best to consult your doctor. Recurring mouth ulcers may be a sign that there are underlying health conditions such as a viral infection like cold sore virus or chickenpox.
It could also be a sign of iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency. In young children, mouth ulcers can be caused by a viral infection called hand, foot, and mouth disease.
What does a mouth ulcer look like?
Mouth ulcers are typically round or oval sores that appear inside the mouth in the following areas:
They can be white, yellow, or red and swollen. It is possible for you to have multiple mouth ulcers at the same time. They may also spread or grow in size.
You should not confuse mouth ulcers with cold sores. Cold sores are small blisters that develop on your lips or around your mouth, not inside your mouth.
A tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth is a common symptom that you have cold sores.
How to cure mouth ulcers fast naturally
How do you get rid of mouth ulcers naturally? Mouth ulcers normally do not require treatment because they heal on their own after a week or two.
Treatment, on the other hand, might help to minimize swelling and relieve any discomfort you may have. Treatment is necessary if you’re continually having recurrent mouth ulcers or if they prevent you from eating or drinking.
Self-care tips to speed up healing
- Brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush.
- Avoid using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate, as this may be irritating to your sores. Here is a selection of toothpaste that do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Use a straw for drinking cool drinks.
- Avoid hard, spicy, salty, acidic, or hot foods or drinks. Do this until your ulcer heals.
- Avoid any known triggers that may aggravate or cause mouth ulcers.
Over the counter treatment for mouth ulcers
There are a couple of options that are available to you:
This can help speed up the healing process and keep your ulcer from becoming infected. This treatment should not be used on children under the age of two.
The mouthwash should contain chlorhexidine gluconate. It may discolor your teeth temporarily but this will vanish after your treatment is completed.__ __ __
These may help to alleviate the discomfort of your recurrent mouth ulcers and hasten your healing process. Corticosteroid lozenges should be used as soon as your ulcer occurs.
However, children under the age of 12 should not be given these lozenges.
Over the Counter (OTC) Painkillers
Painkillers are available as:
These may sting initially when you first use them, and your mouth may feel numb – but this is temporary. You may dilute the mouthwash with water if stinging continues.
You should not administer OTC mouthwash or gel painkillers to children under 12 years old. Also, you shouldn’t use mouthwash for more than seven consecutive days.__ __
When to see your doctor
When your mouth ulcer has persisted for more than 3 weeks, or they keep recurring, you should see your doctor.
Your doctor may prescribe a stronger course of corticosteroids. This will help reduce your pain and swelling and speed up your healing.
Prescription corticosteroids are available as:
Also, you shouldn’t administer prescription corticosteroids to children under 12 years old.
Recurrent Mouth Ulcer Prevention
You may not be able to prevent recurrent mouth ulcers because they’re often caused by factors beyond your control. The following lifestyle changes and practices may help you to reduce your risk of developing mouth ulcers.
- Avoid certain foods such as spicy foods, coffee, almonds, peanuts, cheese, tomatoes, etc – if they cause you to develop mouth ulcers.
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Use toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush to reduce irritation of the inside of your mouth.
- Reduce anxiety and stress in your life. These have been known to be triggers for some people.
Read more on Canker Sores.