Canker sores or mouth ulcers are small lesions that form anywhere inside your mouth. These small lesions are usually painful and can make talking, eating and drinking a little painful. Mouth ulcers are usually formed due to poor oral hygiene. Most commonly these sores are recurring and are formed on the inside of the cheeks, below the lips, or near the baseline of the gums. People with a family history of canker sores are more prone to them.
Although mouth ulcers are not contagious, they are really irritating and can cause a huge amount of pain. Therefore, the first thing your dentist may recommend to you when you visit them with a mouth ulcer complaint is to follow a strict oral hygiene.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
Although there are numerous reasons that can trigger a mouth ulcer, some of the most definite ones are listed below;
- Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections caused by a poor oral hygiene
- Minor injuries in the mouth can cause canker sores
- Eating acidic foods like oranges and strawberries can trigger a canker sore in some people
- Stress and lack of sleep
- Dental braces
Although at times, a canker sore can develop due to some serious health issues and needs to be addressed immediately by a doctor.
- Celiac disease
- Lack of vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid or iron deficiency
What are the Symptoms of a Canker Sore?
You know you have a mouth ulcer when;
- You have a high-grade fever without any definite reason
- You can physically see a mouth ulcer on the inside of your cheek. It may be red or white in color and may appear like a small bubble
Visit a doctor if;
- Your mouth ulcers are big in size and does not heal in 5 to 6 days
- Your ulcers are not painful
- Or if over-the-counter pain killers are not helping
- If the ulcers develop even after you follow a healthy oral hygiene
- If you are unable to eat and drink properly
- If you have a fever
- In case of a diarrhea
What Treatment is Followed for the Canker Sores?
Normal mouth ulcers don’t need any treatment, but if they are extremely painful and reoccur quite often, then your dentist may ask you to try the following to decrease the healing time and pain.
- Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water
- Applying ice to the mouth ulcers
- Using over the counter topical gels
- An antimicrobial mouthwash
Tips to Reduce the Occurrence of Mouth Ulcers
Although you cannot prevent the mouth ulcers, but you can surely reduce their duration and frequency. Firstly, you need to take good care of your oral hygiene and then try the following;
- Do not eat spicy and acidic foods because it will irritate your mouth
- Do not chew gum
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush
- Do not brush too vigorously
- Floss and brush your teeth regularly