Diseases Health Tips

Mouth Ulcers: What they are and how to cure them

For such small things, mouth ulcers certainly make their presence felt. Even a single one is impossible to ignore. Whenever food, drink or your tongue touches it, a sharp pin warns, “Keep away”.

Mouth ulcers are shallow, flat-bottomed craters in the mucous membrane of the cheeks, gums, tongue, or roof or floor of the mouth. Often light gray, they have raised yellow border, sometimes inflamed around the edge.

The commonest, known as aphthous ulcers, remain a mystery and can last for one or two weeks. They tend to come at the very worst times. Any stress, be it a tiredness, worry, depression, or repeated infection or other illness, can be a trigger.One person in five with long-term ulcers is sensitive to gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, oats, and rye.

Accidently biting the inside of your cheek can pave the way for an ulcer, as can scratching your mouth with a toothbrush or rough piece of toast or other food, having a rough filling, and wearing a badly fitting brace, bridge, or denture.

Other causes include: smoking; food colourings in the E100-155 range (especially when the source is acidic boiled sweets); hay fever and other allergic rhinitis; hand, foot, and mouth disease; anorexia nervosa, herpes virus or candida infection; anemia; drug allergy; tuberculosis; leukemia; and mouth cancer.

Constipation is also an another cause of mouth ulcers. A bacterial infection called Vincent’s disease (triggered by poor oral hygiene, smoking, throat infection, and stress) can cause ulcers, bad breath, and a horrible taste.

How to Cure Mouth Ulcers:

Lifestyle: avoid any known triggers, including smoking

Food and Drink:

  • Have two raw cloves of garlic each day. Avoid sugary, acidic, and salty foods and drinks such as candy, potato chips, and lemon juice. Experiment with avoiding gluten-containing foods for two weeks.
  • Avoid spicy and Acidic Food.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Mouth Care: use an over-the-counter medication such as painkilling gel or lozenges; a gel containing carbenoxolone (from licorice); or an antiseptic mouthwash. Rinse your mouth well with an antiseptic mouthwash several times a day.

Herbal Remedies: Rinse your mouth every two hours with saga tea, or ten drps of myrrh tincture in half a glass of water. Alternatively, chew a piece of licorice root every few hours. (Warning: Don’t do this if you have high blood pressure)

Aromatherapy: Us e a mouthwash every two hours made from two or three drops of lemon, tea tree, chamomile, sage, or fennel oil in half a glass of water.

What else doctors may suggest: Hydrocortisone pellets or a mouthwash containing tetracycline may help aphthous ulcers.

Warning – if a mouth ulcer persists for more than three weeks, see a doctor