Mouth Ulcers


Mouth Ulcers are very common and can be identified as small, sore lesions that develop in your mouth. People more at risk of mouth ulcers are women, adolescents and people with a family history of mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are not contagious and are not usually serious. They disappear after a week or to in most cases but if they become large and very sore you may need to see a dentist or be referred to a doctor.


Unfortunately, there is no direct cause of mouth ulcers but there are certain aspects which can trigger the onset of a mouth ulcer. Some of these triggers may include:


  • Small mouth injuries from accidentally biting or burning your mouth,
  • Dental products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Acidic foods such as fruit and fizzy drinks or sometimes even coffee or chocolate
  • Deficient in essential vitamins like iron and B12
  • Mouth bacteria causing an allergy
  • Braces can sometimes cause mouth ulcers
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstruation
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Viral, Bacterial or Fungal Infections


Mouth Ulcers can come in 3 different forms which are minor, major or herpetiform. Minor ulcers are uncomfortable small round lesions which usually heal in a week or two. They do not leave any marks or scarring. Major ulcers are larger and can have different shaped edges. These ulcers usually take nearly 6 weeks to heal and can sometimes leave scarring. Herpetiform ulcers occur in clusters and are more common in adults. They can be sore and will heal in about 2 weeks without any scarring left behind. Mouth ulcers will be diagnosed and identified by a visual exam by a dentist or a doctor. If you get mouth ulcers regularly you might be referred to get tested for underlying health conditions.


There is no exact treatment for ulcers as they usually go away by themselves but there are a few things that can be done to help with the discomfort and healing of a mouth ulcer. Here are a few tips to help with mouth ulcers:


  • Rinse your mouth with warm salty water
  • Using topical anaesthetic benzocaine which can be bought in a pharmacy
  • Apply ice to the mouth ulcer
  • Use a steroid mouthwash to reduce the pain and swelling
  • Take vitamin supplements like folic acid and vitamin B12


If you suffer from mouth ulcers and would like to get them examined book online or call Smile Hub Dental Clinic on 01 5253888.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do mouth ulcers hurt so much?

Mouth Ulcers are very painful and this is because the lining of the mouth has been peeled away and the surface is closer to the nerve. The nerve being more exposed means that anything from movement to food and drink can cause irritation and pain.

What does it mean when you keep getting mouth ulcers?

Mouth Ulcers are very common and usually people can get them for no reason. However recurring mouth ulcers can usually mean a person has a medical condition such as vitamin deficiency including iron and B12 or viral infections such as cold sore virus or chicken pox.

What happens if you leave a mouth ulcer untreated?

Usually mouth ulcers do not need any treatment and will go away themselves. The one complication that can occur from mouth ulcers is a bacterial infection. In extremely rare cases, and infected ulcer can cause bacteria which infects other areas of the mouth. This can be treated with antibiotics.

What Vitamin are you lacking when you get mouth ulcers?

Mouth Ulcers are not always linked to vitamin deficiency but it has been noted that people who are low in iron are twice as likely to have mouth ulcers. Mouth Ulcers are also more common in people who are low in vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6. Taking vitamin supplements can help to prevent mouth ulcers.

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