Ever woken up to a break or slight cut on the inside of your lips or the inside of your mouth? These cuts or sores are called mouth ulcers.
Mouth ulcers are sores that appear in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks. Mouth ulcers are also known as aphthous ulcers or canker sores. There are three types of mouth ulcers or canker sores and they include;
- The Minor– Minor canker sores are also known as “traumatic ulcers”. They are usually small, painful lesions that develop in your mouth or at the base of your gums. These ones are sometimes caused by brushing or biting the cheek and they heal within a week or two with no scarring.
- The Major- These are the type of mouth ulcers that are usually deeper and larger than the minor ones, they have irregular edges and can take few weeks to heal. The major mouth ulcers can result in scarring for a period of time.
- The Herpetiform- These type of mouth ulcers affect adults more, they have irregular edges and will often heal without scarring within a week or two.
Mouth ulcers sometimes make chewing, drinking and talking uncomfortable. There is really no definite cause behind mouth ulcers. However, certain factors trigger mouth ulcers and they include;
- Emotional stress or lack of sleep
- For women, hormonal changes during menstruation
- Lack of essential vitamins like B-12, zinc, and iron
- Dental braces
- Toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate
In few cases, mouth ulcers can be a sign of more severe conditions and will require medical attention. conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus and HIV/AIDS.
You should quickly see a doctor if you develop mouth ulcers that extend to your lips, unusual large mouth ulcers, sores that persist more than two weeks, High fever or diarrhea whenever the canker sores appear and severe problems eating and drinking.
I will recommend a few preventive measures in line with my research to help reduce the occurrence of mouth ulcers;
- Avoid acidic foods and fruits that irritates your mouth
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet and take a daily multi-vitamin
- Avoid talking while chewing to reduce accidental bites
- Reduce stress and maintain a good oral hygiene.
There are also tips or home remedies to treat mouth ulcers, these include;
- Applying ice to canker sores
- Using mouth rinse/ gel that contains a steroid to reduce pain and swelling
- Placing damp tea bags on your mouth ulcer
- Rinse with salt water.
In conclusion, Mouth ulcers are not contagious and they usually go away within one to two weeks. However, if you get a canker sore that is large or extremely painful or it lasts longer than two weeks without healing, you should seek the advice of a dentist.
You can visit SS Dental Clinic today and one of our seasoned dentists will take very good care of you.Take advantage of our Free consultation every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month between 10am and 1pm. We are located at 4B Wole Olateju Crescent, off Admiralty Way Lekki Phase 1, lagos. To book an appointment click here