Mouth ulcers aren’t a commonly-discussed subject, but they can be a cause of severe discomfort for those who experience it. Not only does a mouth ulcer hurt, it also makes it difficult for you to consume food and beverages.
Mouth ulcers are small, painful lesions that develop in the mouth or at the base of the gums. Mouth ulcers could be minor, major or herpetiform. Minor mouth ulcers are small oval or round lesions that heal without scarring. On the other hand, major mouth ulcers are large and deep and have irregular edges that can result in long-term scarring. Herpetiform sores are pinpoint-sized ulcers with irregular edges, and often heal without scarring within one to two weeks.
The causes vary from person to person, however, there are a few factors that could lead to the formation of lesions. These factors include quitting smoking, eating citrus fruits or highly acidic foods as well as biting the tongue. Dental health plays a major role in the development of mouth ulcers. Usage of braces, a deficient tooth filling or poor-fitting dentures that may rub against the mouth and gums, could also be an aggravating factor.
Additionally, stress, anxiety as well as hormonal changes and menopause could also trigger mouth ulcers. A lack of essential nutrients in the diet such as vitamin B12, zinc, folate and iron are also contributing causes to mouth ulcers.
A few simple hacks may go a long way in warding off these painful lesions. You may be able to reduce the risk of mouth ulcers by keeping your mouth clean, using a high-quality toothbrush, consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins (especially A, B12, C and E) and regularly visiting your dentist.
Mouth ulcers subside on their own within two to three weeks of their appearance. However, if the soreness and pain last for long durations, you could consider placing milk of magnesia on the mouth ulcer or covering them with baking soda paste. You could even apply ice on the mouth ulcer. Additionally, vitamin B12 supplements and topical pastes could also be used to reduce pain and swelling.
You could also take some preventative measures to reduce the occurrence of mouth ulcers by avoiding foods that irritate your mouth, especially spicy dishes and acidic fruits like pineapple. Also, try avoiding accidental bites while chewing your food, concentrate on maintaining good oral hygiene by flossing daily and brushing after meals to further prevent any recurrence of ulcers.
If your lesions do not subside in a few weeks, consider reaching out to a doctor. Medical attention is also required when multiple painless ulcers develop and fever appears.