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Mouth ulcers are a condition that affects a person’s lips and the inside of their mouth. This condition is also called canker sores and is quite easy to get. However, you should never feel embarrassed to have canker sores as they are very common, especially as the seasons change.
Although their unsightly appearance may be frightening, they are not contagious. There is no way for you to pass on a mouth ulcer to someone else. Mouth ulcers are very unpredictable, so much so that you can inherit them from your family members. Adolescents are especially vulnerable to developing mouth ulcers.
Since mouth ulcers are common, they also have a variety of causes. You can easily get a mouth ulcer by accidentally hurting your gums through trauma. For example, adolescents with braces may scrape the inside of their cheek — causing open wounds. The wounds are not life-threatening and go away with time, but they do hurt.
This type of ulcer is unique because it occurs either inside someone’s mouth or on their lips. Something as simple as accidentally brushing or flossing too harshly can cause the development of mouth ulcers on your gums. These take longer to go away as they are constantly against harsh objects like teeth.
Like cold sores, mouth ulcers may develop because of your environment. For instance, irritants like food allergies may cause ulcers. In addition, super acidic foods like citrus can wear down your gums, causing a burning sensation and visible mouth ulcers. Thankfully, mouth ulcers are easy to spot.
Regardless of the cause of mouth ulcers, each person’s symptoms are very similar. Some symptoms affect the mouth and lips, and others can affect various places in the body, depending on the severity of the mouth ulcer. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, there is no need to panic. They go away and are treatable.
The most common symptoms of mouth ulcers are:
Some symptoms do not affect a person’s mouth or lips, which include:
Once you spot any of the symptoms of a mouth ulcer, you should begin treatment. It is not always necessary to consult a doctor. However, if you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to book an appointment. If you go to the doctor, they will do a physical exam. There are no tests required to diagnose mouth ulcers.
The only reason your doctor may recommend testing is if they see symptoms that remind them of other skin and mouth conditions, like an allergic reaction. Most of the time, doctors will check your mouth to see how many ulcers you have and, using your family history, will come up with a proper diagnosis.
Although mouths are sterile because of saliva, this does not mean that you cannot develop infections in mouth ulcers. However, as long as you brush your teeth and keep food away from them, your mouth ulcer will disappear within four weeks.
There are many treatments you can take at home. One of the most popular at-home treatments to get rid of mouth ulcers is gargling with salt water or baking soda. Gargling baking soda and water dries out your mouth ulcer, which results in a quicker healing time.
Patients with mouth ulcers can also use over-the-counter benzocaine creams. It is easy to apply, helps heal the area, and keeps it from infections. Some people also use teas and other methods to reduce inflammation caused by mouth ulcers. A tea that works great to reduce inflammation is chamomile tea.
If your symptoms worsen within four weeks of the mouth ulcer developing, you should see your doctor. They may prescribe you extra-strength cream. However, it would help if you tried an at-home treatment first.
Truthfully, the only way to manage a mouth ulcer without treating it right away is to prevent it from happening. Since the causes are very common and nothing to worry about, you can take steps to prevent them from happening. If you already have this condition, try not to let it get worse. Eat and chew on the side of your mouth without the mouth ulcer. Although it is tempting to directly use a cold press against your cheek or on the ulcer, the cold can cause scarring. It is best to leave the mouth ulcer alone. Too much care can worsen the condition.
If you have braces, there are some over-the-counter creams that you can apply to the metal pieces. The cream is safe and edible. It protects your inner cheek and gums from the metal rubbing against it. Mouth ulcers are very uncomfortable. If you have one or many, you should stay away from acidic or spicy foods. These foods can cause bleeding and burning pains. It is best to avoid eating harsh foods.
To prevent mouth ulcers, you should carefully chew your food. However, it is not always possible to predict when you will have one. So instead of eating quickly, take your time chewing and swallowing. This way, you do not accidentally bite the inside of your cheek.
All in all, mouth ulcers are not life-threatening. Although it may be scary to watch as a few bumps develop on your lips or mouth, there is nothing to fear. Most of the time, mouth ulcers occur because of common problems and go away independently.
You can develop a mouth ulcer by biting the inside of your cheek or rubbing your braces against your mouth. If you want to speed up the process, you can also try a cream to dry out the mouth ulcer.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!