mouth ulcers

What Causes Mouth Ulcers and How to Treat Them

What causes mouth ulcers? Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small and uncomfortable lesions in your mouth and gums. Mouth ulcers can make drinking, eating, chewing, and talking a very painful experience.

Although mouth ulcers aren’t contagious and usually disappear within one to two weeks, you need to see your dentist. You must mention that every time you notice something different in your teeth and mouth, you should always visit your dentist for a regular check-up and a diagnosis to avoid complications later. Going to your dentist can help you prevent many dental problems that germs and bacteria can cause.

Ulcers may appear on the tongue and the inner tissues of your mouth, such as the inner cheeks, lips, and throat. These wounds are usually gray, white, or yellow, with a red border surrendering them.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers? 

Women affected by Mouth Ulcers

What causes mouth ulcers? Some of our bad habits often cause mouth ulcers in our oral health. Here are some of the common factors that produce them:

  • Bites inside your mouth
  • Hard brushing your teeth
  • Continuous rubbing to sharp teeth
  • Continues rubbing to braces
  • Constant rubbing against misaligned teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Burns caused by eating hot food
  • In women, hormonal changes can be a factor too
  • Emotional stress
  • Mouth bacterias
  • Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate

Mouth ulcers are also related to several health conditions in which medical observation and treatment are required; these are:

  • Viral infections such as chickenpox and cold sore virus.
  • Deficiency of iron vitamin
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12
  • Chron’s disease
  • Weakness immune system due to HIV and AIDs
  • Coeliac disease
  • Oral cancer

Types of Mouth Ulcers

mouth ulcers pain injury in toungue

There are different types of mouth ulcers; there are three main types which include the following:

  1. Herpetiform ulceration (HU): Herpetiform ulcers are a subtype of aphthous ulcers. Their name is related to the sores associated with herpes, as they look alike. Unlike herpes, HU is not contagious. HU ulcers reappear very quickly, which may give the impression that the condition never gets better.
  2. Minor ulcers: This type can range from about 2 mm up to 8 mm across. These ulcers can take up to 2 weeks to recover and will only cause little or no pain.
  3. Major ulcers: These types of sores are bigger than minor ulcers. They are most of the time in an irregular shape, maybe raised, and penetrate deeper into the tissue than small ulcers. Major ulcers will take longer to recover from and usually leave scar tissue when they clear.

Treatment for Mouth Ulcers

Most of the time, mouth ulcers will disappear in one to two weeks, depending on the care you give to your mouth. These are some of the recommendations to help you in case you get a mouth ulcer:

  • A soft toothbrush will work for your teeth: this will help you to avoid irritations to the ulcer
  • Use a toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Get OTC: this will help you to prevent irritation to the ulcer
  • Avoid the specific type of food like spicy, hot, or hard: by doing this, you will improve your treatment to act faster, and that way, you can recover more quickly from mouth ulcers.
  • When drinking a cold beverage, try using a straw
  • Drink a lot of liquids
  • Keep your mouth as clean as possible: this will help keep the area clean and avoid more infections and can also provide you pain relief.
  • Rinse your mouth with salted water: this procedure will keep your mouth clean.

Patients can follow tips or home remedies to recover from mouth ulcers. However, please consider that it is always very important to consult a professional as mouth ulcers develop due to different causes.

If patients continue getting ulcers frequently, it will be necessary to keep a record and visit a professional to get a full analysis and discard it is something else in which an alternative approach will be required.

Mouth Ulcers vs. Herpes

pain on the Upper Lip of a Young Woman

Mouth ulcers are little wounds that develop in your mouth. These lesions usually appear on the soft tissue and inner parts of the mouth, teeth, or the roof of the mouth.  

They often appear because of a nutritional deficiency or a weak immune system. These wounds are not contagious and commonly go away on their own.

Cold sores, sometimes known as oral herpes or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes virus. These are little sores that are observed on or around the lips. 

Two strains of herpes can cause a cold sore: HSV1, which usually happens in the mouth. However, HSV2, commonly found on the genitals, can also cause cold sores. So, different from ulcers, herpes is very contagious. 

Mouth Ulcers Prevention

There are also some things you can do to prevent yourself from getting mouth ulcers. See below for some tips to reduce the risk of getting mouth ulcers:

  • Brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush; this way, irritation can be overcome.
  • Use toothpaste recommended by your dental hygienist.
  • Avoid food that causes you ulcers, like hot or spicy food
  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Include vitamin B12 in your daily diet

Taking all considerations mentioned above can help you reduce the risk of getting mouth ulcers, which can later produce different oral health problems. Please do not take it as a common problem; remember that there are various reasons for getting them, some of which are due to adverse health conditions. Ensure you keep your mouth clean and follow the tips to avoid them.

Remember, it is imperative to visit your dentist and make a routine to avoid complications and provide proper care to your teeth. In the same way, you take care of your body; you should do it with your mouth and teeth.

Many health problems related to mouth and teeth can be prevented if we get a regular check-ups from our dental hygienist. The sooner a problem is detected, the treatment can be less invasive and without pain.

If you have any questions, ask our dentists and specialist; if you feel or see something different in your mouth, do not wait for a long time and get an examination. Remember, you can contact our dental specialist, and we can get you the best treatment or help you solve any concerns. 

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