What are mouth ulcers?
Ulcers are painful sores that appear inside the mouth. They are usually red or yellow. They are utterly different from cold sores, that seem on the outer lips and are because of a virus.
What are the common causes of mouth ulcers?
Usually, a single mouth ulcer is mainly due to damage caused by accidentally biting the cheek or tongue, sharp teeth, tooth brushing or poorly fitting dentures. These ulcers are called ‘ traumatic ulcers.’
If you have a more than one mouth ulcer that’s because of ‘ recurrent aphthous stomatitis. ‘
How do l know if I have a traumatic ulcer?
Traumatic ulcers are generally on their own, are next to the cause of the damage and go away once the source of the problem is solved.
What are the sings of recurrent aphthous stomatitis?
Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is a common problem and leads to repeated bouts of mouth ulcers in otherwise healthy children and young people. The cause is unknown, but it is not infectious and is not likely to be inherited.
Are there different types of recurrent mouth ulcers?
Minor ulcers are the most common. They can appear inside the cheeks, on the lips, tongue, and gums and, more rarely, on the roof the mouth. Most of these ulcers are in the size of the top of a pencil and sometimes comes in clusters. You can get four to six at any one time.
Large ulcers are more severe and can last for five to ten weeks. They can appear near the tonsils, and that can be very painful, mostly when swallowing. You usually only get one at a time.
There is also a possibility of 100 tiny painful ulcers appearance which lasts for one to two weeks.
However, these last two varieties are very rare.
You can also get ulcers in other body parts like your eyes or genital area. It is important to tell your dentist about this ulcers are sores that appear inside the mouth.
What are the less common causes of mouth ulcers?
Infections can cause mouth ulcers. Herpes simplex often leads to widespread mouth ulcers in children and some adults. Other less common viral and bacterial infections can also cause mouth ulcers, but this happens very rarely. Mouth ulcers can be caused by occasionally and occasionally by other blood disorders and some skin or gastrointestinal diseases. In some cases, the mouth ulcers are the only sign of an underlying illness.
Can cancer cause mouth ulcers?
Cancer of the mouth can first appear as a mouth ulcer. The ulcers caused by mouth cancer are usually single and last a long time without any apparent local cause ( for example a sharp tooth)
Any sore that lasts longer than three weeks should be looked at by your dentist?
Ulcers caused by cancer frequently appear on or under the tongue, but can occasionally look somewhere else in the mouth.
Cancer of the mouth is usually associated with heavy smoking and drinking. Doing both together greatly increases the risk.
Can I catch mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers do not spread by kissing or sharing drinks or utensils as infection does not cause mouth ulcers.
What types of treatment are there for mouth ulcers?
The treatment depends on the cause of the ulcers. Sometimes all that is needed is for a sharp tooth to be smoothed down or a denture adjusted, although some patients may require a variety of mouthwashes or tablets.
What should I do if l think I have mouth ulcers?
If an ulcer lasts more than a few days, you should always ask your dentist or doctor for advice. They may be able to tell you the cause and provide treatment, or they may arrange further tests or refer you to the specialist if necessary.
How can l prevent mouth ulcers?
You can reduce the risk of mouth ulcers by:
- Maintaining good oral hygiene
- Using high-quality toothbrushes ( to reduce the risk of damage to your mouth)
- Eating a proper diet which is rich in vitamins A, C, and E and which includes foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables ( to lessen the risk of mouth cancer)
- Regularly visiting your dentist.
Should I worry about my ulcers?
Most ulcers heal up on their own. However, you should visit your dentist if they don’t heal within three weeks. Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth to check that the problem is an ulcer and not something more serious such as mouth cancer.
If you suffer from ulcers that come and go often, you ought to visit your dentist to see that there is not an underlying medical cause.
Dr. Ankita is a dental expert and Implantologist. She completed her BDS from Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai and PGDBA, Marketing from Symbiosis University, Pune.
She specialises in implants and planning full mouth rehabilitation cases.
She is well versed with all the recent advances in technology and materials.