Kathryn Vercillo profile image

Medicine, Treatment and Prevention of Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers. Ouch. Just saying the phrase can make your mouth hurt. Most people have experienced the pain of mouth ulcers at some point in their lives. That's due in part to the fact that there are so many different types of mouth ulcers and reasons that they might occur. For some people, it's just something that happens now and then and it gets written off as a cold sore that will go away on its own in a few days. For others, the very presence of a mouth ulcer gives them fears of cancer. While mouth ulcers can be caused by serious problems such as cancer (and of course, those cold sores could be a form of herpes) the fact of the matter is that most mouth ulcers aren't symptoms of a big health problem. Nevertheless, they can be painful so you probably want to treat them as quickly as possible and to prevent them from returning if you can.

You'll know that you have a mouth ulcer because it hurts. If you open your mouth and use a mirror to look inside, you'll also be able to see the ulcer there. It's basically an open soar that usually appears white. The area of the mouth surrounding the sore will usually be a darker red than the rest of the mouth. If you feel pain in your mouth but don't see this sore, you might be about to experience a mouth ulcer. Catching it at this stage can prevent the pain from getting out of control so you'll want to treat yourself immediately if you feel signs that a mouth sore is emerging.

So how do you treat a mouth sore? It depends a little bit on the cause of the mouth sore. For example, these are sometimes caused by damage to the mouth (such as biting down on your cheek) in which case the best treatment is to leave it alone and let it heal. For other mouth ulcers, you'll basically just want to be kind to your mouth until it heals. This means that you should make sure that your mouth stays clean by brushing your teeth and swishing regularly throughout the day. Use mild products such as a light salt water flush rather than strong products like minty mouthwash. You should also make sure that the foods you eat while you have a mouth sore are mild. Avoid spices and anything too hot or too cold. Finally, if the pain won't go away, you can purchase topical relief for the symptoms either over the counter or through a doctor's prescription.

You should also note that some people get mouth ulcers as a result of significant changes in their bodies or lives. In other words, if you lose a lot of weight at one time, undergo a major surgery or suffer serious stress, mouth ulcers might show up. If you recognize that these are the reasons that you're getting the mouth ulcers, do what you can to improve the health of your body. Try to de-stress, get enough rest and eat properly. Your body should go back to normal and the mouth ulcers will probably go away.

Treatment resolves the problem once it begins but of course you'll also want to engage in mouth ulcer prevention so that you don't have to deal with this problem again in the future. Prevention is difficult at the beginning because it requires that you identify what is causing the mouth ulcers to occur. Once you've determined that, you can simply avoid the cause of the mouth sore. For example, allergies are a common reason people get mouth ulcers. Consider the foods that you eat, the medications that you take and the toothpaste that you use. If you have recurring ulcers, one of these could be the reason and stopping their use can stop the problem. Recurring ulcers may also be a sign that you're body's deficient in something (such as Vitamin C) which means you'll need to get what you need on a regular basis. It can also be hormonal so if you're not finding the problem, keep a diary about the ulcers to determine if this could be the cause.

If you can't find the cause of your mouth ulcers on your own, you may want to go to a doctor. Let him or her know what you've ruled out. Then he/she can check for additional causes such as immune problems in the body, oral cancer and bacterial or viral infections. Chances are that you don't have one of these problems but you might so get it checked out. The doctor can then treat the underlying problem and prevent the mouth ulcers from showing up as a symptom of that problem. Once you've treated the problem that causes the mouth ulcers, you probably won't see them turn up again. If they do, you should immediately note any changes to your diet or medication to see if this is the cause.

Finally, you will want to make sure that you engage in normal healthy oral hygiene to further prevent mouth ulcers from forming. This means that you should brush your teeth twice daily. It also means that you should limit your sugar intake and flush your mouth out with water when you've eaten sugars or spicy foods. Floss your teeth as recommended by your dentist. Follow up with a good mouthwash or rinse your mouth out with clean water to make sure that you've left no residue behind.

The main reason that you'll want to follow these treatment and prevention methods for taking care of mouth ulcers is, of course, because you want to rid yourself of what's causing you pain. You might also want to get rid of them because they can be unsightly if they are in an area that can be seen by others when you speak to them. However, there's also a good health reason to treat and prevent mouth ulcers. Oral ulcers can become infected if untreated. This will lead to additional health problems at worst or make the ulcers stick around longer at best. By treating and preventing the problem, you avoid these risks.


 Last updated on October 30, 2012

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Comments 40 comments

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney Level 2 Commenter

Wow that was quick! Thanks. I wrote a Hub on cold sores and got a question about mouth ulcers - which I had no idea about. Now I can direct them here for the answer!

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 6 years ago from Sydney

Great knowledge for good hub

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Level 1 Commenter

Great information!

regards Zsuzsy

soyelude profile image

soyelude 6 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

Educative hubs don't get better than this.Great job Kathryn.

len7288 profile image

len7288 6 years ago

I always use extra virgin olive oil whenever I developed mouth ulcer and whenever my gum hurts, it always solve the problem the next day. After cleaning your mouth just gargle 1tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, do it atleast 3x a day until everything is back to normal… You can also check the my article about the Anti-inflammatory effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. http://hubpages.com/hub/Extra_Virgin_Olive_Oil_Exc...

Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 6 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

I just learned about L-Lysine last year. it's an over the counter vitamin/supplement that my doctor suggested. It doesn't work for everyone but for me it is a godsend. For the kids, I crush a tablet and give with a spoonful of honey. Works like a charm!

garmentmerchant profile image

garmentmerchant 5 years ago from www.Garmentmerchant.com

Thanks for the tips I have one right now that is excrutiatingly painfully, so bad its given me a headache the past 2 days

Hope 5 years ago

Use perscription strength acyclovir or valtrex daily, it works great and has been a real miracle cure for me!

Kesh 5 years ago

Nice Information.... Thanks

ciidoctor profile image

ciidoctor 5 years ago

Great knowledge for good hub

Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa Level 3 Commenter

I agree mouth ulcers are very sore. I have found that for me eating yogurt every day has solved the problem. Also I keep an eye on my general well being. As soon as I feel stressed I know they are going to appear and I up my mouth hygiene and the yogurt. This way I have been able to avoid having them for years now, where I used to have mouth ulcers just about ALL the time!

Dental Nurse Jobs 4 years ago

Another great dental health article, my god can't month ulcers be sore!

Kasvi  4 years ago

thnanks for the information it really helped because i have mouth ulcers and they really kill but its getting a lot better now!

NoOne 4 years ago

Good advise, but listing common nutrision deficiencies that can cause mouth ulcers, and foods to help prevent that particular cause would be good.

I sepearte my meals and drinks to avoid bloating. Waiting half an hour after drinking to eat, and two hours after eating to drink. These does leave food residue in my mouth. I will try washing my mouth out with saltwater and then spitting it out. Mybe that will help in my case, and pay attention to all the above listed possibilities.

snehal 4 years ago

ya ..dats true..take vitamin b complex especially B12..take cetrizine for any allergic raction..stop sour foods n drinks..take medicine for acidity if u have..n check it out if der is something on ur teeth dat can hurt ur toungue or mucosa..n dont take tension..its also one cause of ulcers

wade11hicks profile image

wade11hicks 4 years ago

Is vitamin b the only type of vitamins i can take to avoid ulcers. I've also heard there's types of foods that make your ulcers worse, is this true? I've been having these problems and I just want to do things that can help me.

m920621m 4 years ago

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Lizzie 4 years ago

Very helpful ! I had a tooth surgically extracted last week. I am still in pain, due to a mouth ulcer I think. I just hope it will not get infected ...

kingdude4ever profile image

kingdude4ever 4 years ago from Lahore

Helpful hub

ankigarg87 4 years ago

Very good.My friend you write a very nice hub

miku profile image

miku 3 years ago from USA

Thanks for wonderful hub. Its really help me

Anil kumar 3 years ago

good morning,I am suffering with mouth ulcers from 6 years,nearly 5 times.Wounds formned in my whole mouth including trought.Pus will also formed from that & not cure atlest 1 month.Please if you have any solution i.e. to which doctor I have to consult email me at kanilkumar950@gmail.com....plase help me.I am very thakfull to you.

SJK 3 years ago

I used to get mouth ulcers very regularly when I was young. However, when I foolishly started smoking they stopped and I never had one again. I have recently given up smoking and the mouth ulcers are back again. Has this happened to anyone else and is there a better way to stop them other than starting smoking again?

dentist Highland Park  3 years ago

We can also get canker sores from braces. It is truly painful especially if it's your first time to wear them. But there are cases that canker sores suddenly come out. To avoid having this in the future, better drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits which are rich in vitamins. Usually, dentists and doctors advise their patients to eat healthy foods because they are good protectors of our bodies against bad ailments.

brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 3 years ago from Northern Michigan

I have a problem with this on occasion, and the darn things usually form on the same side of my mouth every time. I seem to get them a lot whenever I eat Cottage Cheese, but, I love cottage cheese not about to give it up.

Also, I was recently in the ER with a sore jaw, and that caused a bunch of those little monsters to form. I just finished a round of antibiotics and they all vanished. But, I still have the pain in my jaw. I've been told that I need to go to the dentists, as I might have a bad tooth. Hurray! More fun for me!

nancypolaska profile image

nancypolaska 3 years ago from Oxford Road

mouth ulcers are very irritating and annoying. you have mentioned smart ways to tackle them.

i4u 3 years ago

A handful of superb information. Mouth ulcers are painful and with all your tips it won't leave a scar too. Wonderful writing. I enjoyed reading it as it has just that flow needed in it.

Thanks!!!

Fosamax Lawyer 3 years ago

@dentist highland park - I also experienced mouth ulcer on my first time wearing my braces. But my doctor give me a medicine on it.

electricsky profile image

electricsky 3 years ago from North Georgia

Very good information. Thank you.

melissa 3 years ago

is there any walgreens or cvs medicines that i could take i wonder? thoose hurt very much!

raguett profile image

raguett 3 years ago

Always great infor thanks... heres a link for using salt for mouth troubles and much more.. thanks for sharing. http://healthmad.com/conditions-and-diseases/top-w...

Tinnitus Help 3 years ago

Thanks for the info. I will share your hub on my blog for others. Keep up the good info

hemant 3 years ago

even m getting the mouth ulcers recurringly...since 6 yrs..m fed up of those now..even good doctors are not able to sort out the root cause..what should i do..please help me out n cal me on 09975614826

Komala 3 years ago

even m getting the mouth ulcers recurrently...since 4 yrs..m fed up of those now..even good doctors are not able to sort out the problem,once in the beginning i hd consulted doctor they referred me folic acid tablet for 1 month continuously, for next 2 months it stopped, again from 3rd month it started regularly,one week before my menstrual the mouth ulcer starts, immediately i consume the tablet to avoid further pain,( i hv digestion problem since from then, gastric problem) pls help me out of this, pls email me at komala.322@gmail.com,

seomarketing30day profile image

seomarketing30day 3 years ago

thanks for sharing. I just printed our your lens and will follow some of your advice.

1 week ago I had Mouth ulcers. My solution was:

- Drink lots of water

- Have good sleep

- Lots of food

- Eat less fried food or not at all

Rakesh Bajaj 2 years ago

I was suffering from mouth ulcers for the last thirty years. I tried Allopathic,Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic treatment but of no avail.By taking naturopathic treatment I am fully cured in one month . I have cured many persons.To know more pl contact at my emailID: bajajrakesh@hotmail.com

Ghulam Mustafa 2 years ago

My name is Ghulam Mustafa. My problem is mouth blisters . how can i treatment in this matter kindly recomended me a medicine. thanks

shohidul islam 2 years ago

Iam shohidul Islam. I am suffering for mouth ulcer long days. I am taking more treatment for mouth ulcer but not getting any result. always it give me pain. pls reply me very soon. which way I free from mouth ulcer.

Billie Kelpin profile image

Billie Kelpin 19 months ago from Laguna Hills, CA Level 1 Commenter

great article with very helpful comments! I had a tooth repaired about 7 years ago and am convinced there was something in that compound of repair mixture that has caused a problem for me off and on all these years. I do notice that if I RESTRICT my DIET COKE drinking to one a day (I'm an addict), the irritation seems to go away. Also a Vitamin B12 lozenge seems to help. Of course, I have to limit my other addictions (my love affair with pineapple, all kinds of berries, tomato sauce, and all foods acidic) Greek yogurt seems to alleviate some irritation, and the mouth wash I recently got from the dentist seems to help almost immediately: "Tooth and Gums Tonic" by the Dental Herb Company. However, the effect goes away if you continue with acidic foods and diet coke, so a total approach seems to be the answer. Also, plenty of rest seems to help :) -Again, this is a very helpful article!

Shakti 19 months ago

Hi all

I like to share my experience here. I also have mouth ulcer sometimes. the reason i think is gastric and indigestion. when i feel something wrong in my stomach or have gastric, I have mouth ulcer. If i stayl ong time in air conditioning room until I feel cool, I sure have gastric and I have mouth ulcer next day.

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