What causes mouth ulcers? Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small and uncomfortable lesions that appear in your mouth and on your gums. Mouth ulcers can make drinking, eating, chewing, and talking a very painful experience.
Although mouth ulcers aren’t contagious and usually disappear within one to two weeks, you need to see your dentist.
It is necessary to mention that every time you notice something different in your teeth and mouth, you should always visit your dentist for a regular check-up and a diagnosis to avoid complications at a later point. Going to your dentist can help you prevent many dental problems that germs and bacterias can cause.
Ulcers may appear on the tongue and the inner tissues of your mouth, such as inner cheeks, on your lips, and even your throat. These wounds are usually gray, white, or yellow, with a red border surrendering them.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
What causes mouth ulcers? Some of our bad habits cause most of the time ulcers with our oral health. Here are some of the common factors that produce them:
- Bites inside your mouth
- Hard brushing your teeth
- Continuous rubbing to sharp teeth
- Continues rubbing to braces
- Constant rubbing against misaligned teeth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Burns caused by eating hot food
- In women, hormonal changes can be a factor too
- Emotional stress
- Mouth bacterias
- Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate
Mouth ulcers are also related to more several health conditions, in which, medical observation and treatment are required; these are:
- Viral infections such as chickenpox, cold sore virus.
- Deficiency of iron vitamin
- Deficiency of vitamin B12
- Chron’s disease
- Weakness immune system due to HIV and AIDs
- Coeliac disease
- Oral cancer
Types of Mouth Ulcers
There are different types of mouth ulcers; there are three main types which include the following:
- Herpetiform ulceration (HU): Herpetiform ulcers are a subtype of aphthous ulcers. Their name is related to the sores associated with herpes, as they look alike. Unlike herpes, HU is not contagious. HU ulcers reappear very quickly, and it may give the impression that the condition never gets better.
- Minor ulcers: This type can range in size from about 2 mm up to 8 mm across. These ulcers can take you up to 2 weeks to recover, and they will only cause a little or no pain.
- Major ulcers: These types of sores are bigger than minor ulcers. They are most of the time in an irregular shape, and maybe raised, and penetrate deeper into the tissue than small ulcers. Major ulcers will take you more time to recover from them, and they usually leave scar tissue when they clear.
Treatment for Mouth Ulcers
Most of the time, mouth ulcers will disappear in a period of one to two weeks, depending on the care you give to your mouth. These are some of the recommendations to help you in case you get a mouth ulcer:
- A soft toothbrush will work for your teeth: this will help you to avoid irritations to the ulcer
- Use a toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate
- Get OTC: this will help you to prevent irritation to the ulcer
- Avoid the specific type of food like: spicy, hot, or hard: by doing this you will improve your treatment to act faster and that way you can recover more quickly from mouth ulcers
- When drinking a cold beverage try using a straw
- Drink a lot of liquids
- Keep your mouth as clean as possible: this will help keep the area clean and avoid more infections, it can also provide you a sensation of pain relief
- Rinse your mouth with salted water: this procedure will keep your mouth clean
Patients can follow tips or some home remedies to try to recover from mouth ulcers. However, please take into account that it is always very important to have a consultation with a professional as mouth ulcers develop due to different causes
If patients continue getting ulcers frequently, it will be necessary to keep a record and visit a professional to get a full analysis and discard it is something else in which an alternative approach will be required.
Mouth Ulcers vs. Herpes
Mouth ulcers are little wounds that develop in your mouth. These lesions usually appear on the soft tissue and inner parts of the mouth, teeth, or the roof of the mouth.
They often appear because of a nutritional deficiency or a weakness in the immune system. These wounds are not contagious, and they commonly go away on their own.
Cold sores, which are sometimes known as oral herpes or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes virus. These are little sores that are observed on or around the lips.
Two strains of herpes can cause a cold sore: HSV1 that usually happens in the mouth. However, HSV2, which is commonly found on the genitals, can also cause cold sores. So, different from ulcers, herpes is very contagious.
Mouth Ulcers Prevention
There are also some things you can do to prevent yourself from getting mouth ulcers. See below for some tips to reduce the risk of getting mouth ulcers:
- Brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush; this way, irritation can be overcome.
- Use a toothpaste recommended by your dental hygienist.
- Avoid food that causes you ulcers like hot or spicy food
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Include vitamin B12 in your daily diet
Taking all considerations mentioned above can help you reduce the risk of getting mouth ulcers, which can later produce different oral health problems. Please do not take it as a common problem; remember that there are various reasons for getting them, and some of these are due to adverse health conditions. Make sure you keep your mouth clean and follow tips given to avoid them.
Remember, it is imperative to visit your dentist and make a routine to avoid any complications and provide proper care to your teeth. The same way you take care of your body, you should do with your mouth and teeth.
There are many health problems related to mouth and teeth, which can be prevented if we get a regular check-up by your dental hygienist. The sooner a problem is detected, the treatment can be less invasive and without pain.