Most of us are painfully aware of mouth ulcers. For those lucky few who have never had one, they are painful sores that can appear on the inside of your cheeks, lips and gums. They look like blisters and are often raised on the outside edge with a dip in the centre.
No one is 100% sure what causes mouth ulcers, explain the Dursley dentists at Castle Gate Debntal Practice in Gloucestershire, but we do know that they hurt. The inside of the mouth is one of the most sensitive and tender areas of the body. Mouth ulcers can catch on our teeth, rub when we speak, become inflamed when we eat and irritated when we drink.
Treating mouth ulcers
If ulcers are very painful, try gargling with soluble aspirin and avoiding anything that might inflame your ulcers such as hot, spicy or vinegary foods and hot drinks.
There are a number of over-the-counter treatments for mouth ulcers. While there are different brand names, the majority take the same approach, which is a gel containing analgesic.
Also make sure you maintain a good oral hygiene and health programme. Avoid using any products that irritate your mouth; use a softer toothbrush and try and find a toothpaste that is less abrasive. You may find that an alcohol-free mouthwash is good – or no mouthwash at all.
Mouth cancer and ulcers
Most ulcers heal on their own in around two weeks. However, if they haven’t gone away within three weeks you should make a dental appointment as mouth cancer can first appear as a mouth ulcer.
Ulcers caused by cancer usually appear on or under the tongue, but may occasionally appear somewhere else in the mouth. Mouth cancer is usually linked to heavy smoking and drinking. Doing both together greatly increases the risk.