Understanding Mouth Ulcers and Their Treatments

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, are painful lesions that can appear on the inside of the mouth, including the cheeks, lips, tongue, gums, and roof or floor of the mouth. They typically have a round or oval shape with a white or yellow center surrounded by a red border.

Causes of Mouth Ulcers:

  • Minor injury: Such as accidental biting or aggressive brushing.
  • Certain foods: Especially citrus fruits, spicy foods, or acidic foods.
  • Hormonal changes: Particularly noticeable during menstruation in women.
  • Stress or anxiety: Can weaken the immune system and trigger ulcers.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Especially lacking iron, vitamin B12, or folate.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Such as gastrointestinal disorders or immune system issues.

Treatment Options for Mouth Ulcers:

Treatment focuses on reducing pain, aiding healing, and preventing future occurrences. Here are effective strategies:

  1. Pain relief:
    • Use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
    • Apply topical numbing agents such as benzocaine to alleviate discomfort.
  2. Promoting healing:
    • Rinse with saltwater (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) several times daily.
    • Use oral rinses containing anesthetics, antiseptics, or corticosteroids.
    • Avoid irritating foods like spicy or acidic items.
  3. Home remedies:
    • Apply milk of magnesia directly to ulcers using a cotton swab.
  4. Nutritional supplements:
    • Consider supplements for deficiencies like iron, vitamin B12, or folate.
  5. Medical treatments:
    • Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid ointments or mouth rinses for severe cases.
    • Topical antimicrobial agents or oral medications may be recommended in some instances.
  6. Managing underlying conditions:
    • Treat any related medical conditions to prevent recurrent ulcers.

Preventive Measures:

  • Avoid triggers such as spicy or acidic foods.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques.
  • Ensure a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients.

If mouth ulcers persist despite home care or recur frequently, consult a dentist or other healthcare professional for further evaluation and personalized treatment.  You can find qualified dentist in Greenville, NC at Pruitt & Earp Dentistry.

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