Mouth ulcers are painful round or oval sores that form in the mouth, most often on the inside of the cheeks or lips. They're usually white, red, yellow or grey in colour and are inflamed (red and swollen) around the edge.
Although mouth ulcers can be uncomfortable, especially when you eat, drink or brush your teeth, they are usually harmless.
How common are mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are very common, particularly in women and young adults. Most people will have one or two a year.
What causes mouth ulcers?
Most minor, single mouth ulcers are caused by damage to the mouth, for example by accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while eating, or from a sharp tooth, food or filling.
The cause of a recurrent mouth ulcer is not always clear,
Common Causes are:
- Vitamin B deficiency.
- Damage to gut Micro flora
- Oral infections.
- Bruxism (Grinding of teeth usually in sleep)
How to treat mouth ulcers
Common Treatment for mouth ulcers are:
- Vitamin B supplements.
- Oral Gels like Orasore or Orahelp.
- Medications to enhance gut micro flora like Flora BC.
- Iron Supplementation.
- Treatment of Gastritis by Medicines like Proton Pump Inhibitors or H2 Blockers.
Most mouth ulcers heal within 10-14 days without causing any lasting problems, although severe ulcers may last for several weeks and could potentially leave a scar.
Can mouth ulcers be prevented?
The following may help reduce your risk of developing mouth ulcers:
- Avoid damaging the inside of your mouth by using a soft toothbrush and avoiding hard, brittle or sharp-edged foods
- Avoid things you think may be triggering your ulcers, such as specific foods
- Learn some relaxation tips to relieve stress
- Make sure you maintain good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Have regular check-ups at your dentist – your dentist can spot and treat problems, such as sharp teeth or fillings, that could damage your mouth
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins
Most mouth ulcers will clear up by themselves within a week or two. You need to see your doctor or dentist if the ulcer gets worse or lasts for longer than three weeks, or if you develop ulcers regularly.