Soothing Mouth Ulcer Treatment Tips
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Soothing Mouth Ulcer Treatment Tips

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Have you ever developed a white painful sore with red borders inside of your mouth? These are called aphthous ulcers, better known as mouth ulcers. Many people wonder what causes mouth ulcers, and the truth is that there can be several causes. Usually, the cause could be related to stress, an injury to the soft tissues in your mouth, dentures that don't fit properly, braces, eating highly acidic foods such as oranges, strawberries and tomatoes, or nutritional deficiencies. Read on to find out more including the symptoms of mouth ulcers, home remedies you can try, how to soothe mouth ulcers and how to get rid of mouth ulcers. 

Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers occur inside the mouth, from the inner parts of the lips to inside the cheeks, on the tongue, and even on the upper palate or roof of the mouth. You’ll notice they’re painful and tender to touch, but don’t worry, they’re not contagious. Common mouth ulcers need to run a course of healing that may take a week or two. If the mouth ulcer is more severe, you may consider visiting your dentist for an oral examination.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

On the other hand, if a person develops a cluster of small blisters that turn into a larger sore in the lip area, this may be a cold sore caused by the herpes simplex virus. This second type of mouth ulcer is caused by a virus and is highly contagious. A cold sore may require a prescription antiviral medication from a doctor.

Mouth Ulcer Home Remedies

There are a few mouth ulcer home remedies that can be quite effective. One of the most common ways to treat mouth ulcers is to ice them. Wrap an ice cube in kitchen paper and hold it over the sore. Never place the ice directly onto the skin. This method brings only temporary relief, but it feels good because it tempers the burning pain.

Another remedy is to place a wet tea bag over the ulcerated area. Black tea contains tannin, which possesses powerful pain-relieving qualities. You can also make a homemade saline solution using warm water, salt and baking soda. 

What to Avoid When You Have a Mouth Ulcer 

There are a few things that the NHS recommend avoiding when you have a mouth ulcer. We’ve listed some of them below:

  • Don’t eat overly salty, acidic or spicy foods.
  • Don’t eat rough or crunchy foods like toast or crisps.
  • Don’t drink very hot drinks, or acidic drinks like fruit juice.
  • Don’t chew chewing gum.

Preventative Measures for Recurring Mouth Ulcers

If you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers, there are a few things you can try to minimise your chances of developing them:

  • Eating good, natural foods provides the body with healing vitamins and minerals. There may be a link between mouth ulcers and a low intake of iron and several of the B vitamins, such as B-12. Make sure your diet contains lots of fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats and whole grains to obtain these nutrients.
  • Taking a multivitamin can be a good insurance policy.
  • Make a habit of eating yoghurt. The probiotics help to keep your digestive system healthy and are even useful for preventing mouth ulcers.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day as part of your oral care routine – avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes and mouthwash that contains alcohol. Rinse your mouth using Colgate Peroxyl Medicated Mouthwash. Alcohol-free formulas not only cleanse the mouth but also soothe the irritation, even in sensitive mouths.
  • Keep your stress levels and make sure you’re getting good quality sleep.

Treating Mouth Ulcers That Won’t Heal

If a mouth ulcer doesn’t heal on its own within a week or so, you can visit your local pharmacist. They’ll be well versed on how to soothe mouth ulcers and will be able to offer you treatment options to speed up the healing, reduce the pain or prevent an infection. They may offer you a mouthwash for ulcers, a painkilling gel or spray, lozenges or a saline mouthwash. 

When to Consult a Professional for Mouth Ulcers

If you’ve tried over-the-counter and at-home remedies for how to soothe mouth ulcers, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor. Always see your doctor if your mouth ulcer has lasted for longer than three weeks, keeps coming back, grows bigger, is at the back of your throat, bleeds or becomes more painful and red over time. 

Usually, mouth ulcers are just a temporary nuisance, will heal in their own time and are nothing to be too concerned about!


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.