You can’t eat breakfast, orange juice makes it sting unbearably, and food scrapes against it like a razor. Any pressure against your gums is uncomfortable, so you brush your teeth with incredible care. As such, you’re late for work, and you miss the start of an important meeting.
All this is thanks to a tiny mouth ulcer. It’s roughly the same size as the head of a pin, yet it feels like it fills up your entire jaw.
Why do mouth ulcers form?
- Biting the inside of your lip
- Brushing your teeth too roughly
- Abrasion from braces or food
- Iron, foliate and vitamin B12 deficiency
How to heal a mouth ulcer?
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, wholegrain, milk, lean meat and fish to ensure you get the vitamins, iron and zinc that will help boost your immune system against infections
- Stress less and relax more to keep your immune system healthy.
- Avoid foods that are too acidic or spicy and drink plenty of water
- To help relieve the pain, try gargling with a mouthwash.
- Applying glycerin or home-made ghee can help to relieve the pain and stinging.
- To help numb the ulcer, try to drink a glass of iced water before meals.
- Pastilles and gels that contain cooling agents and anesthetics can help ease the pain.
- Gargling with a solution of salt and warm water may sometimes allow the ulcer to heal quicker.
- Gargling with chamomile tea may also help relieve inflammation.
- Mouth ulcers don't just cause discomfort: they are also a source of bad breath. If bad breath presents itself, seek dental advice
- Ulcers typically last from one day to a week
- If your ulcer does not heal after two weeks, seek medical help, as this could be a symptom of herpes, bowel disease or an immune disorder
- Foods to stay away from are acidic fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruit, as well as fizzy drinks, as they can highly irritate the sore
- Red meat, beans and eggs are an excellent source of iron
- Steaming foods is an easy way to preserve their foliate levels
- Liver and many seafood dishes have high levels of vitamin B12