Mouth ulcers are a frequent occurrence in the oral cavity. Although they can be bothersome, uncomfortable, and unsightly, they typically heal on their own within a few days without the need for medical intervention. However, it is crucial to seek a more comprehensive evaluation from a dentist or another qualified healthcare professional if these lesions do not improve after a couple of weeks, recur frequently, or new symptoms arise. Mouth ulcers can arise from physical injuries like cheek biting or irritation from sharp orthodontic wires. They can also be caused by certain medications, chemical sensitivity, diseases, or as a side effect of medical treatments such as chemotherapy. Stress, anxiety, and hormonal changes can even trigger mouth ulcers, known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers. Statistics indicate that up to 1 in 5 individuals experience recurring mouth ulcers. Several underlying health conditions can contribute to their development, including nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency. Gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease and coeliac disease, as well as an impaired immune system due to HIV or Lupus, can also lead to mouth ulcers. Additionally, certain viral infections like the cold sore virus, chickenpox, and hand, foot, and mouth disease in young children can cause them. It is important to be mindful that persistent mouth sores may occasionally be a sign of oral cancer. In such cases, a biopsy or tissue sample may be recommended to investigate suspicious lesions in the oral cavity. Early detection and treatment are crucial for achieving the best possible outcome in terms of care.
Managing mouth sores and ulcerations involves addressing the erosion or loss of the delicate tissue lining the oral cavity. These ulcers can greatly impair daily activities such as eating, drinking, and speaking, causing significant discomfort. The key to reducing the risk of complications and allowing for healing is to treat any underlying causes and effectively manage the associated symptoms.
To alleviate discomfort and promote healing, it is beneficial to minimize or eliminate sources of ongoing irritation. This includes avoiding hot and spicy foods, as well as adopting a balanced fluid intake.
Dentists or physicians may recommend using rinses or medications tailored to the individual’s condition for optimal relief. Additionally, it is important to maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing the teeth gently in order to keep the mouth clean and aid in the healing process.