Mouth ulcers are small lesions that develop in the mouth or at the base of the gums and make eating, drinking, and talking uncomfortable. They are not contagious and usually go away within a week. However, if one has a canker sore (a large ulcer that is extremely painful or lasts for a long time), it is better to see a doctor.
There is no definite cause for mouth ulcers, Some causative factors are minor injuries due to dental work, hard brushing or sports-related injuries; accidental bites; certain toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate; sensitivity to acidic foods; lack of essential vitamins like B-12, Zinc, and Iron allergic response to mouth bacteria; hormonal factors; emotional stress and infections.
Sometimes mouth ulcers can be a symptom of more serious conditions and require medical treatment. If an ulcer lasts for more than a week, see a doctor
Tips for relief from mouth ulcers
• Rinse the mouth with salt water and baking soda.
• Cover the ulcers with baking soda paste.
• Apply ice.
• Put damp tea bags on the ulcer.
• Take nutritional supplements like Folic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, and Zinc.
• Try natural remedies such as green or herbal tea.
• Take sour milk products like yoghurt and buttermilk.
• Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing the teeth. Brush after the meals daily to keep the mouth free of foods that might trigger an ulcer.
• Rinse and gargle with cold and then hot water alternately.
• Drink lots of orange juice as ulcers may be caused by a lack of Vitamin C.
Tips for preventing mouth ulcers
• Avoid spicy foods and acidic fruits that irritate the mouth, such as pineapple, grapefruit, or oranges. Opt for whole grains and non-acidic fruits and vegetables.
• Avoid talking while eating.
• Reduce stress and maintain good oral hygiene by using dental floss daily and brushing after meals.
• People with dental or orthodontic mouth devices with sharp edges should cover the edges with wax, based on the dentist's advice.