- Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, are a common condition causing discomfort and pain.
- Causes include nutritional deficiencies, trauma or injury, stress and anxiety, genetics, and underlying health conditions.
- Treatments for mouth ulcers include natural remedies, OTC medications, analgesics and anesthetics, steroids, and cosmetic surgery.
- Prevention of mouth ulcers can be achieved through good oral hygiene practices and avoiding acidic or spicy foods.
- Seeing a healthcare provider is recommended if any signs of mouth ulcers occur to get tailored treatments for the best results.
Mouth ulcers may also be known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers. Although not a life-threatening condition, they can impact your quality of life and make it difficult to eat, drink, or even speak. Here are the risk factors associated with mouth ulcers and how to prevent them.
What Are Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are a common condition that can cause discomfort and pain in your oral cavity. They are often identified as small, painful lesions that form on your gums, tongue, or inside of your cheeks. Here’s what you need to know about mouth ulcers and how
One of the main risk factors for mouth ulcers is a deficiency in specific nutrients, including Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. These deficiencies can lead to weakened immune systems, which may cause the onset of mouth ulcers. It’s recommended that a balanced and nutritious diet is maintained, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources.
Trauma or Injury
Accidental biting, chewing, or grinding your teeth can cause injury and trauma inside your mouth, leading to mouth ulcers. Wearing ill-fitting dentures or getting injured during a dental procedure may also cause these sores to develop. To avoid mouth ulcers caused by trauma, practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding abrasive foods and drinks is essential.
Stress and Anxiety
High-stress levels and anxiety are known to trigger the onset of mouth ulcers. If you are frequently stressed or anxious, finding ways to manage these emotions, such as meditation, exercise, or relaxation techniques like deep breathing, is essential.
Mouth ulcers can also be a result of genetics. If you have a family history of mouth ulcers, your risk of developing them might be higher. Although you can’t control your genetics, you can manage the symptoms by maintaining oral hygiene and a healthy diet.
Underlying Health Conditions
Certain health conditions, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and lupus, have been associated with mouth ulcers. If you have a condition that affects your immune system, working with your healthcare provider to manage your symptoms and prevent the onset of mouth ulcers is essential.
Treatments For Mouth Ulcers
There are various ways to treat mouth ulcers. Here are some of them:
One of the easiest and most natural ways to treat mouth ulcers is by applying honey directly to the sore. Not only is it antibacterial, but it also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Apply a little bit of honey directly on the sore at least twice daily for a few days. Another home remedy is to gargle with saltwater. Mix a tablespoon of salt with warm water and gargle it for a few minutes to ease the pain.
For quicker relief, you can also use over-the-counter medications such as topical creams, gels, or, pastes. Over-the-counter medications such as Anbesol, Orajel, or Chlorhexidine gluconate are effective according to instructions.
Analgesics and Anesthetics
For mouth ulcers that persist, analgesics and anesthetics such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to ease the pain. Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is also a great way to numb the sore and provide immediate relief. You can use a cotton swab to apply it directly to the sore.
If the mouth ulcer is severe, you might consider seeking medical attention. A healthcare professional may recommend a steroid cream, patch, or mouthwash, such as triamcinolone acetonide, to help control the pain and reduce inflammation. The downside to this treatment is that you will need to check for its side effects.
Any damages caused by severe mouth ulcers can be fixed by cosmetic surgery. A great option is a non-invasive lip filler treatment. This treatment utilizes hyaluronic acid to fill in any gaps and cracks caused by canker sores. By doing this, you can improve the appearance of your mouth and reduce any discomfort or pain due to severe mouth ulcers.
Preventing Mouth Ulcers
The best way to avoid the onset of mouth ulcers is through good oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day. Additionally, avoiding food that is too acidic or spicy can help prevent mouth ulcers from occurring. Limiting stress levels and eating a balanced diet are also vital in preventing mouth ulcers.
If you have any signs of mouth ulcers, it’s best to visit your healthcare provider to determine the cause and get specific treatments tailored to your needs. With the right steps, you can reduce the risk of mouth ulcers and improve your quality of life.