What Is Mouth Ulcers?
Painful sores, which occur in the mouth, are called mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are usually harmless, but painful. Most of the mouth ulcers generally clear up in a week’s time.
Sometimes, mouth ulcer is induced by sharp teeth, poor denture fitting, improper brushing of teeth, or accidentally biting the tongue or teeth. These types of ulcers are known as traumatic ulcers. If one suffers from a lot of mouth ulcers and they keep recurring, then they are known as ‘aphthous stomatitis’
Mouth ulcers are normally oval or round shaped sores, which can be generally witnessed inside the mouth. Mouth ulcers can appear on:
These ulcers may be grey, yellow, red, and white in colour. Also, ulcer gets swollen sometimes. There are high chances of having multiple ulcers at a time, as they are infectious and spread.
People must not confuse mouth ulcers with cold sores. Cold sores are the tiny blisters, which occur around the mouth, or on the lips. A cold sore often begins with a burning, itching, or a tingling sensation around one’s mouth. Mouth ulcers usually do not need a treatment, as they recover by themselves in almost a week’s time. However, one can get the treatment to ease the discomfort and swelling occurred due to the mouth ulcers.
Mouth ulcers can be classified into three types, which are as follows:
- Herpetiform ulceration (HU): Herpetiform ulcer is a sub category of aphthous ulcer. Name of the herpetiform ulcer is taken from herpes because the HU resembles the sores formed in herpes. But, HU is not contagious like herpes. Herpetiform ulcer recurs too quickly. The condition never seems to get better.
- Minor ulcers: These types of ulcers may range from 2 mm- 8 mm in size. It takes them about 2 weeks to vanish. These ulcers are a little painful.
- Major ulcers: These ulcers are bigger in size than minor ones, Major ulcers are normally irregular shaped ulcers, and reach deeper to the tissues and may be more protruding than minor ulcers. These type of ulcers may stay for several weeks, and leave scars on the tissues even after they are gone.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mouth Ulcers?
General symptoms that may occur with the ulcers are as follows:
- The skin swells around the ulcerative sores.
- The area around the ulcer becomes too sensitive.
- A problem may arise while brushing one’s teeth, or chewing the food.
- Irritation and uneasiness are felt after consuming sour, salty, or spicy foods.
- The appetite of a person is lost, as eating becomes uncomfortable.
- Pain is felt in the sores.
- In severe cases, one may experience the following symptoms:
- A fever.
- Physical lethargies.
- Lymphatic nodes may get swollen.
What Are The Causes Of Mouth Ulcers?
There can be several causes of mouth ulcers, which are as follows:
- Accidentally biting the cheek or the tongue is one of the common causes of mouth ulcer.
- Wrong usage of a toothbrush, which causes injury, and results in the formation of mouth ulcer.
- Rubbing the tongue or other mouth parts like lips, and cheeks constantly against the sharp or misaligned teeth.
- Rubbing constantly against braces or denture.
- Bad oral hygiene may result in mouth ulcer.
- Burn, while eating hot food may cause or aggravate mouth ulcers.
- Eating spicy food results in mouth ulcers.
- Allergic to certain mouthwashes.
- Allergy from certain reactive medicines like chemotherapeutic agents.
- A few autoimmune diseases like lichen planus.
- Syphilis infection.
- Viral infection from herpes simplex.
- Lip cancer.
- A few diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus, AIDS, and Tuberculosis.
- Other infections like hand-foot-mouth syndrome.
- Anxiety or stress may cause Mouth ulcers.
- Consumption of citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, oranges, and tangerine, and a few other highly acidic foods, or spices may cause mouth ulcer.
- Hormonal imbalance, due to menopause, puberty, and pregnancy.
- Smoking can aggravate the ulcers and their symptoms.
- Some genetic causes.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Mouth Ulcers?
Some tips and remedies to cure and prevent mouth ulcers are as follows:
- Maintain oral hygiene: Brushing one’s teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and daily flossing one’s teeth can maintain oral health. Good oral health may prevent ulcer formation.
- One can apply toothpaste on the affected areas of mouth to treat mouth ulcers.
- Application of Indian gooseberry paste on the ulcers may result in healing of the sores.
- Turmeric powder can be mixed with glycerine, or honey for the application on the ulcer. Turmeric is an antiseptic and cures the infection, and honey and glycerine soothe the pain.
- Coriander leaves boiled in water can be strained. One can cool it and rinse mouth with it.
- One can use a mixture of half table spoon salt and warm vinegar to rinse the mouth. This should be done three times in a day to cure the ulcers. This can be a bit painful.
- One can chew on 5-6 basil leaves along with water to keep the mouth bacteria free.
- One should use sodium bicarbonate toothpaste instead of heavy fluoride tooth paste, in order to prevent ulcers.
- Gargling is one of the most beneficial remedies for mouth ulcer, hence one can make many mixtures for gargling, such as:
- Gargling with freshly extracted coconut milk, four times a day.
- One can gargle with lukewarm water and then with cold water alternatively. This particular method is really helpful in curing the ulcers.
- Fenugreek leaves should be boiled in two cups of water, then the water strained. The strained water should be cooled down. One can gargle with this water three times a day to cure the ulcer.
- One can gargle with tomato juice to cure ulcer or raw tomato can also be consumed.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Mouth Ulcers?
Things one should completely avoid when suffering from mouth ulcers:
- Do not chew tobacco, or smoke, as it can cause or deteriorate the mouth ulcers.
- Do not chew any inedible objects like pen, or pencil.
- Do not touch the ulcers with unclean hands.
- Do not repetitively touch the sores with the tongue as it might worsen the symptoms, and delay the healing of the ulcers.
What Are The Best Foods For Mouth Ulcers?
Some of the foods which are beneficial for mouth ulcers are as follows:
- Vitamin B rich foods: vitamin B is one of the most important nutrients for curing many conditions like depression. Mania, fatigue, anaemia along with mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers can be caused by the deficiency of vitamin B. Some foods rich in Vitamin B, which cures mouth ulcers, are rice milk, eggs, meat, milk, soy, eggs, fish, and oysters, sometimes people also consider taking B complex supplements for mouth ulcers.
- Foods rich in iron: Iron is not only an essential nutrient for one’s health but also an important component needed to cure mouth ulcers. Some of the foods that are rich in iron, which cures mouth ulcers, are eggs, wheat gram, broccoli, potato, pumpkin, cereals, sesame, ham, turkey, chicken liver, oysters, beef, and spinach.
- Folic acid: Recurring stomatitis or mouth ulcers can be prevented by adding folic acid to one’s diet. Folic acid intake can be increased by consuming the following foods like Dark leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, green peas, lettuce, asparagus, collard greens, and spinach. One can also add banana, pineapple, beans in one’s diet to cure mouth ulcers.
- Coconut water: Coconut water has high nutritional value, and hydrating properties, which helps in the healing of mouth ulcers. Coconut water helps in subsiding the inflammation as well.
- Fruits: A few fruits that are safe to eat when suffering from mouth ulcers are kiwi fruit, melon, cranberries, banana, pear, berries, peach, and apple. Out of the above list, some fruits and their juices are really good for mouth ulcers, as they contain antioxidants, and flavonoids, which inhibit bacteria growth, such fruits are cranberry and apple.
- Vitamin E rich foods: Vitamin E containing foods protects the membrane of the cells from oxidation by guarding its fatty-acids. Deficiency of vitamin E may be the reason of deterioration of some tissues’ cell. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and turnip greens are the rich source of vitamin E. Quantity of the dosage of vitamin E should be 400 to 800 IU daily.
- Vitamin-A rich foods: Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that boosts the wound’s healing process. Foods, which are rich in vitamin A are many yellow, red, or orange, plant foods, like pumpkin, borage, watercress, purslane, and carrot. Vitamin A supplement can be added to one’s diet as well. The dosage of vitamin A that one needs per day is 400 to 800 IU.
- Cold and frozen foods: Such foods can help in relaxing the pain due to mouth ulcers. Cold and frozen foods, which can include fruits and vegetables, help in reducing the irritating qualities of ulcers. Such foods are also a prudent choice as they are less salty and acidic than canned and processed foods. Furthermore, chilled drinks, such as iced tea, cold water, cold milk, etc., are also helpful in soothing the pain caused by ulcers.
What Are The Worst Foods For Mouth Ulcers?
Some foods that are definitely a “no” for mouth ulcers are as follows:
- Acidic foods: Acidic foods aggravate the ulcer symptoms or may cause the mouth ulcers. Some of the acidic foods that one must avoid during mouth ulcers are citrus fruits, tomatoes, and pickles.
- Spicy foods: Consuming spicy food can cause pain and irritation to the ulcer wound., which further worsen the condition of the ulcers. Consumption of spicy food can also delay the healing process of the mouth ulcer. A few spicy foods that one must avoid are Cayenne pepper, black pepper, spicy curries, Schezwan sauce and other spicy sauces.
- Hot foods: Always cool the food to the room temperature before consuming, as really hot food can burn the sensitive skin of the mouth resulting in ulcers. Also, hot food can worsen the condition of already persisting ulcers. Some hot foods and beverages that one must avoid are tea, coffee, and hot soups.
What Are The Medicines For Mouth Ulcers?
What Are The Tips To Manage Mouth Ulcers?
- Sometimes, mouth ulcers can appear like a blister. If the person feels an urge to pop it open, then it is prudent that such urges are curbed, otherwise, it might worsen the condition and healing could be prolonged.
- One can use organic coconut oil to cure the ulcers, as it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.