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Are you experiencing any painful sores in your mouth which appear to be white in colour with red colour border? Then, they are mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are painful sores which appear on cheeks and at base of gums. Few people also develop ulcers on tongue. Though most of them are not harmful, but they can be painful. They may even give discomfort while eating, drinking and even when brushing your teeth. In few cases mouth ulcers can also be a sign of severe health problems like diabetes, failed immune system or immune system disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and so on. Mouth ulcers are also known as aphthous ulcers or canker sores. There are different types of mouth ulcers like minor ulcers, major ulcers and herpetiform ulcers.

Mouth ulcer causes

Why mouth ulcers take place?

The exact cause of mouth ulcers are not known yet, several day to day activities and factors can aggravate mouth ulcers. Here are few mouth ulcer causes like

  • Biting cheek or tongue by mistake
  • Brushing your teeth roughly and also using hard tooth brush
  • Injuries during brushing
  • Hormonal changes
  • Iron deficiency or low iron levels
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Injuries especially sport injuries
  • Infections due to bacteria and virus
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Stress
  • Lack of oral hygiene
  • Unsuitable dentures, braces and rough fillings
  • Consuming hot foods and beverages
  • Sensitivity to acidic foods

When people quit smoking, they suffer from mouth ulcers frequently and this is temporary.

Facts of mouth ulcers

  • Generally mouth ulcers are harmless and clear up by themselves within a week or two.
  • Most of the people think that mouth ulcers are contagious, but they aren’t, they do not spread from one person to another.
  • If you face mouth ulcers frequently, then they are called recurrent mouth ulcers.
  • Women are at an increased risk of developing recurrent mouth ulcers than men
  • People with severe mouth ulcers face symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes and so on.
  • Consult a doctor if your mouth ulcers last for more than 3 weeks, painless and if they spread to other locations like lips and others.
  • Mostly minor mouth ulcers are caused due to damage to the mouth i.e. because of hard brushing, using tooth paste containing sodium lauryl sulphate and so on.
  • Mouth ulcers can also be caused due to anemia.
  • Oral health and hygiene are very important, lack of oral hygiene leads to mouth ulcers.

How to treat mouth ulcers?

One can easily treat mouth ulcers by following few dental care tips like

  • Always keep your mouth clean, dental hygiene is very important
  • Brush your teeth slowly and use quality soft bristled toothbrush to avoid injuries during brushing
  • Eat healthy diet rich in vitamins
  • Avoid high acidic foods and others which irritates your mouth
  • Control your health problems like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and others which can trigger mouth ulcers.
  • Do not have very hot foods as they can burn the skin inside your mouth and can raise mouth ulcers