At a checkup appointment, I often see patients who have mouth ulcers. These are non-infectious but tend to recur. It commonly presents on the tongue, in the skin of the cheeks, lips, or throat. The symptoms of these are small swelling on the skin normally round or oval in shape, forming a blister. After about a day, the blister bursts and becomes yellowish with a red outline. These become irritated by spicy, salty, or sour foods; and the pain will be felt in the skin of the mouth around the ulcer and the saliva secretion will be increased.
There are several causes of mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers. However, none have been fully confirmed. The first maybe oral tissue trauma such as biting of the lip or the cheek. It’s widely felt that stress plays a part, and it affects the immune system and causes the ulcers. It could be a hormonal disturbance. There could be problems in the gut. There could be a malnutrition issue such as a deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acids, or iron. Finally, for patients who wear a removable prosthesis, an ill-fitting denture will wrap the tissue and cause ulcers and this should be addressed.
How do you generally treat ulcers?
They frequently heal within 7 to 14 days. If it lasts more than 3 weeks and there’s a formation of new ulcers, you should consult your dentist for a checkup to see if any other treatments are necessary. Or if there’s any other underlying cause.
To avoid pain while the ulcers last, avoid touching the area when you brush your teeth, don’t eat hard, coarse, hot or spicy foods. I would be able to prescribe you an ointment to put in the area for pain relief. Over-the-counter ones include Bonjela. These tend to have a limited time effect.