Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small or small lesions that can be painful and develop in the mouth, at the base of the gum, tongue, and inner cheeks. Several factors, like hormonal changes, minor injuries, and emotional stress, can trigger them.
Canker sores are rarely contagious and usually go away after 1-2 weeks, even without treatment, but there are treatments to help ease discomfort and pain. Undoubtedly, many adults, including children, get mouth sores from time to time.
It is mostly harmless and can be highly uncomfortable, which makes it difficult for some people to eat, drink and brush their teeth.
Causes of Mouth Ulcer
There are several causes of mouth ulcers.
- Emotional stress
- Lack of sleep
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hormonal changes during the menstrual period
- Toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Food allergies or irritants and allergic response to oral bacteria
- Minor injuries to the mouth, like rough food, biting oneself while chewing, accidental bite or a hard toothbrush, can trigger a mouth ulcer.
- The sores may be yellow, red, or white.
- Painful sores found on the inner lips and inner cheeks
- Pain may worsen while eating spicy, salty, or sour foods.
- The main symptom of a canker sore is pain; while a mouth sore is forming, that part of your mouth may tingle, burn or feel rough.
Knowing that most mouth ulcers will heal completely without intervention is imperative. Treatment can range from;
- Addressing dry mouth
- Smoothing or removing a local cause of trauma
- Maintain good oral hygiene and use antiseptic mouthwash or spray, which can hasten to heal and prevent further infection.
- Application of an ointment or an antimicrobial mouthwash is to be applied directly to the infected patch as prescribed by the dentist.
- For those experiencing frequent recurrence or much more painful mouth ulcers, a dentist may prescribe a solution to lessen the pain and reduce swelling.
It is important to visit a dentist if you are experiencing a severe mouth ulcer that refuses to go away on its own or if you have other symptoms like swollen lymph or bad breath.