woman drinking water to help with mouth sore

Ulcerative Colitis Mouth Sores

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that affects more than 1 million people in the United States. Ulcerative colitis mouth sores often accompany IBD, making it important for patients with IBD to pay close attention to their oral health.

What Is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term that refers to the conditions of ulcerative colitis, irritable colon conditions and Crohn's disease. These diseases have many symptoms that occur mainly in the colon or large intestines, including abdominal pain and diarrhea. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that nausea, headache, gas, fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and joint pain are also common symptoms of IBD.

IBD is a disease of the alimentary canal, also known as the digestive tract. The alimentary canal is the channel for food and liquid processing that starts at the mouth and travels down the throat through the pharynx to the esophagus, leading to the stomach and intestine before ending at the rectum. (The Mayo Clinic offers a step-by-step guide to its inner workings.) IBD can affect all parts of the digestive tract at different levels and in different ways.

Many people do not know ulcerative colitis can also affect the oral mucosa (soft tissue, such as the cheeks and gums). The oral lesions IBD causes, called ulcerative canker sores, can result in pain and bad breath. Managing mouth sores as a symptom of IBD can help patients eat more comfortably and better manage their condition.

What Is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term that refers to the conditions of ulcerative colitis, irritable colon conditions and Crohn's disease. These diseases have many symptoms that occur mainly in the colon or large intestines, including abdominal pain and diarrhea. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that nausea, headache, gas, fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and joint pain are also common symptoms of IBD.

IBD is a disease of the alimentary canal, also known as the digestive tract. The alimentary canal is the channel for food and liquid processing that starts at the mouth and travels down the throat through the pharynx to the esophagus, leading to the stomach and intestine before ending at the rectum. (The Mayo Clinic offers a step-by-step guide to its inner workings.) IBD can affect all parts of the digestive tract at different levels and in different ways.

Many people do not know ulcerative colitis can also affect the oral mucosa (soft tissue, such as the cheeks and gums). The oral lesions IBD causes, called ulcerative canker sores, can result in pain and bad breath. Managing mouth sores as a symptom of IBD can help patients eat more comfortably and better manage their condition.

Ulcerative Colitis Mouth Sores

IBD manifests itself in the mouth as ulcerative colitis mouth sores, or aphthous ulcerations, which can be caused by both the condition itself and the medications that people may take for this condition, says Health Union. These ulcerations occur anywhere inside the mouth on the soft tissues, such as the cheek and gums, and generally last for seven to 10 days. Severe sores can last for several weeks.

Though they might not be as painful as ulcerative colitis mouth sores caused by the disease, people with IBD can also develop mouth sores from nutritional deficiencies. If the pain and symptoms of IBD make it difficult to eat, patients can be at risk for malnutrition. A lack of B vitamins in particular can cause mouth sores and swelling, notes Health Union.

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.

Mobile Top Image

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for submitting your feedback!

If you’d like a response, Contact Us.

Mobile Bottom Image