Mouth ulcers are painful sores that usually develop inside the cheeks, on the gum and inside the lips. Several factors can stimulate formation of ulcers in the mouth. It is a common oral disorder.
In about 1 to 2 percent mouth ulcer patients, the disease recurs frequently. The intense pain could reduce the quality of your life and interfere with your eating and speech.
Causes of mouth ulcers
A broken tooth, dentures and toothbrushes might hurt the lining in your mouth, leading to formation of ulcers in the mouth. Ulcers can develop if your scald your mouth by drinking a hot beverage or by eating hot foods. Mouth ulcers are often a sign of bacterial or viral infections.
People suffering from herpes, shingles, tuberculosis and syphilis develop mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers might indicate that you are suffering from iron deficiency anemia. People suffering from inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are prone to mouth ulcers.
Certain skin disorders such as lichen planus could cause mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers could develop as side effects of certain drugs. Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers and certain angina medications could increase the risk of mouth ulcers.
Rarely mouth ulcers are signs of mouth cancers. However, in smokers and heavy drinkers, ulcers beneath or on the sides of the tongue, that refuses to heal, might be a sign of cancer. Mouth ulcers are common in people undergoing chemotherapy.
Mouth ulcer treatment
The disease could be treated by treating the underlying health disorders associated with mouth ulcers. Antibacterial mouthwashes are often prescribed for killing germs that trigger formation of ulcers in the mouth.
Over-the-counter pain relief gels or adhesive pastes could reduce the pain. Steroid based sprays, mouthwashes or inhalers are recommended for treating stubborn ulcers.
To prevent mouth ulcers, you should maintain healthy oral hygiene. Use toothbrushes with soft bristles for brushing your teeth. People prone to mouth ulcers should avoid toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
A diet high in iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 rich foods could reduce the risk of mouth ulcers. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements are often beneficial for mouth ulcer patients.