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Mouth Ulcers

Written by Dr.Mary

What are Mouth Ulcers?

Mouth ulcer is a round shaped wound in the oral cavity. It may have developed from a very small lesion or as just from a sore forming like a crater (indention/ depression) inside. This ulcer is painful and mostly intolerable depending on the amount of severity. The highly affected areas of mouth ulcers are the soft parts, like the lips, cheeks, under the surface of the tongue and the soft palate (back part of the roof of the mouth). People of all ages are greatly affected by mouth ulcers. The less careful we are and unhealthy, the more we become prone to the formation of mouth ulcers. But take note, this is not contagious and cannot be transmitted through the saliva or direct contact.

Types of Mouth Ulcers

There are different types of mouth ulcers:

First, we have the minor ulcer; a common type of ulcer but the least problem of all the three. Though ulcerations (formation of ulcer) can make you worry, minor ulcers are typically harmless for it is not usually associated with pain – if it is, pain is tolerable and once healed, no visible scars formed.

Major ulcers, the second type of ulcer are a much bigger problem than the first one. Its formation is obviously in a larger scale, plus pain and tends to linger longer in the oral cavity thus leading to scar formation when healed.

The last kind of ulcer is the herpetiform ulcers, a formation of clustered ulcers in the oral mucosa– resulting to a large group of supposed tiny ulcers. Sounds alarming, but herpetiform ulcers could not last for more than 10 days in the oral cavity leaving a no scars in the oral cavity.

Mouth Ulcers Symptoms

Symptoms vary as to what type of mouth ulcer a person has. All types of ulcers in the mouth would have discolorations as it may have lead to infection; it may be red, white, yellow, or grey in color. It is a round-shaped inflamed crater affecting the inside of the lips, cheeks (buccal mucosa), areas under the surface of the tongue and the soft palate (back part of the roof of the mouth). With the presence of these ulcers, the person affected would automatically have difficulty in speaking, eating/chewing and drinking extreme beverages – and unfortunately, bad breath.

The following are the enumeration of symptoms from the specific forms of mouth ulcers:

Minor ulcers

  • Round-shaped depressions not wider than 10mm
  • Ulcerations are not deep enough to produce intolerable pain
  • Lasts 7 to 10 days and does not result to scarring formation

Major ulcers

  • Ulcerations are deep and can produce bearable to unbearable amount of pain
  • Scar formation is expected for the ulcer can last more than a month’s time, if not treated accordingly

Herpetiform ulcers

  • A group of mouth ulcers, clustered together despite its dot-like size
  • Clears in 7 to 10 days time and will not leave a scar on the affected area

Mouth Ulcers Causes

The exact cause of mouth ulcers is not easy to identify provided there are many factors involved in the formation of wound. It can be because of some alterations of the immune system or can be an effect of a certain action. But common causes for the formation of mouth ulcers are identified below:

Mouth injury

Excessive use of toothbrush can cause mouth ulcers. The abusive way of maintaining oral hygiene can also be a way of negligence. Presence of faulty or ill-fitting dental apparatuses in the mouth is also a cause.

Chemical injury

Ingestion of highly corrosive chemicals or, if not careful, medications can damage the oral mucosa resulting to wound formation


Ingestion of allergens triggers the body’s natural defenses, making the mouth inflamed and prone to ulcer formation


Smoking cessation

Common to smokers who experience chemical changes are prone to develop mouth ulcers

Medical conditions

One who may have acquired a viral infection, who have autoimmune diseases can obtain mouth ulcers in a severe form if not treated or given any preventive care


People who receive fewer amounts of Vitamin C, B2, iron, and niacin are expectant to ulcerations. Ingestion of highly acidic and sharp foods and drinks can trigger abrasions and/or damage mucosal lining.

Mouth Ulcers Treatment

We should treat first by preventing the formation of mouth ulcers. Awareness and being health conscious can be of assistance to oneself. With the following causes enumerated, we could easily identify the prevention techniques necessary for the formation of mouth ulcers.

Proper identification of the probable causes is a must. Avoid mouth and chemical injury. Proper identification of the triggering factors of allergies is a must. Know thy self first. If can be avoided, make sure that what you ingest is harmless. Be a dear to yourself and if you have a medical condition that can lead to mouth ulcer formation, seek preventive aide from your physician or go on a strict diet. Avoid the foods that can trigger ulcerations such as excessively hot and spicy foods. Always seek medical advice and be vigilant.

Another good way of treating oneself is the use of proper protection. Always keep yourself fit and avoid as much as possible stress. Take supplemental foods and vitamins necessary to replenish energy losses from day to day work.

Medical remedies are a must so not to attain untoward effect of untreated ulcers. The use of paste and gel treatments in securing the medicine applied on the ulcer is recommended. Once topical analgesics, corticosteroids, antacids are applied, the use of pastes and gels is to assist in the healing process. The use of antimicrobial mouthwash is of assistance in killing microorganisms that are growing or may be growing. This is to battle off infection and a very good way of prevention. In reduction of the inflammation, corticosteroid is prescribed by the doctor. Its action is to lessen the inflammation by inhibiting the inflammatory process.

Mouth Ulcers Home Remedies

One of the symptoms of mouth ulcers is it is painful. There are techniques common to the public in alleviating pain. In numbing the pain, first applying ice on the sore can relieve the discomfort temporarily. But in order to counteract the acid present in the oral cavity, the use of antacids against the ulcer can anesthetized the pain.

What is usually done at home is some improvisation; the following are some mouthwash that can assist in the treatment of mouth ulcers:

  • The use of gentian violet is typically used for fungal infections in the mouth but it has been widely used at home for relieving mouth sores and ulcers. It has been used to fight off bacteria. At home, one should dilute gentian violet and use it as a gargle once or twice a day.
  • Coconut, known as the tree of life, has presented one of its many uses, as a catalyst in the healing process of a wound. Using coconut milk as a gargle for about 3 to 5 times a day with a spoonful of honey is widely used at home.
  • Boiling a few leaves of basil and wait for it to warm – then using it as a gargle is a total help in treating the untoward symptom, which is foul smelling breath. Chewing a handful of basil leaves is also a preferable method.
  • The famous baking soda can also be a solution as a mouth rinse. With its basic quality, it can neutralize the acidic state of the mouth.

Mouth Ulcers Pictures

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