Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

What is a mouth ulcer?

A Mouth Ulcer is the loss or erosion of part of the delicate tissue that lines the inside of the mouth (Mucous Membrane).

What causes mouth ulcers?

Some of the most common causes of mouth ulcers are:

  • Accidental biting of the cheek
  • Constant rubbing/friction against misaligned or sharp teeth
  • Constant rubbing/friction due to dentures or braces
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Nutritional problems, such as vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency
  • Burns from eating hot spicy food
  • Infections: Oral thrush infection, Herpes simplex viral infection (cold sore), Syphilis infection
  • Reaction to certain drugs, such as chemotherapeutic agents
  • Autoimmune diseases (for example, lichen planus, pemphigus)
  • Certain diseases including tuberculosis, AIDS, diabetes mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer of the lip.

What are the Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers?

You can have Mouth Ulcers, if you have the following symptoms:

  • A round sore or sores inside the mouth
  • Swollen skin around the sores
  • Tenderness
  • Problems with chewing or tooth brushing because of the tenderness
  • Irritation of the sores by salty, spicy or sour foods
  • Loss of appetite.

How can you make a diagnosis?

Depending on cause and history and clinical examination diagnosis to cause and type of mouth ulcer can be made. If required skin biopsy and blood investigations, can be done as needed

Grouped superficial painful erosions with/ without presence of fever suggest herpes infection.

Single large tender yellowish ulcer could be due to trauma

Round, well defined ulcer with yellowish floor and reddish halo suggest apthous ulcer
In Drug reaction, ulcers could vary from mild erythema to severe blistering and necrosis.

How is Mouth Ulcer Treated?

Most of the mouth ulcers are traumatic and heal by themselves. However, if there is an etiology , then treatment is required. Usually treatment options include the following

  • Application antiseptic gel to the ulcers prior to meals- to decrease pain/ burning sensation
  • Medicated mouthwashes- to prevent bacterial infection
  • Use steroid gels or tablets- to fasten the healing process in cases of apthous ulcer or autoimmune conditions
  • Anti-viral drugs for recommended period for herpes infection.
  • Treat oral thrush with anti-fungal drugs.
  • Immunosuppressant drugs are sometimes required in resistant cases.
  • How to Prevent Mouth Ulcers?

    Mouth ulcers tend to reoccur in most of the cases. However, following steps can be taken to prevent or delay its recurrences

    • Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth, including acidic or spicy foods
    • Avoiding irritation from gum chewing
    • Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after meals and flossing daily.
    • Avoiding metallic dental fixtures, if possible.
    • Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
    • Make sure that underlying conditions, such as nutritional deficiency, diabetes mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease, are managed appropriately.

    Why skin & You Clinic for Mouth Ulcers treatment?

    We, at Skin & You Clinic,aim at finding the cause for Mouth Ulcers, diagnosing and treating it accordingly, and making the necessary dietary or lifestyle changes to achieve the best result.