How to Deal With Mouth Ulcers
Most people, at some time or the other, suffer from mouth ulcers which may be exceedingly painful.
Ulcers in the mouth (also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers) usually start off with an irritation in any part of the mouth and then become redder and larger with a whitish patch in the center, which is very painful. They take time to heal, because the mouth is always moist and is also home to myriad bacteria.
Whether you get one or more at a time, ulcers often make it painful to eat or chew food and even brush teeth. When they are on the tongue, they are more difficult to manage, because if you get one or more on one side of your mouth, you can always chew your food on the other. An ulcer, which is at the back of the tongue or even near or inside your throat, can make swallowing difficult.
Ulcers can be caused if you accidentally cut or bite any part of your tongue or cheek or if the inside of the mouth gets hurt in any way, the part is likely to develop into an ulcer. Sometimes teeth get sharp due to acidity or any other reason and the tongue gets abraded by touching the tooth or teeth and gets ulcerous.
Stress, allergy to certain foods, braces, dentures, a compromised digestive system, tooth problems and even premenstrual syndrome, fungal infection in the mouth, certain medications can all lead to aphthous ulcers in the mouth. Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can also lead to a greater incidence of canker sores.
Please check with your doctor or dentist to rule out any drug interaction or any other medical reason that you may have mouth ulcers. For instance, if it is a tooth problem, whether is a sharpened edge, dentures or braces, it is the dentist who can help you. Any underlying problem needs to be treated.
However, more often than not, there may be no underlying reason for recurring mouth ulcers. In that case there are some remedies you can try. Chewing on a clove can help reduce pain. Use a mild antiseptic mouth wash often. An oral anesthetic like xylocaine (lidocaine) gel can be applied before eating or drinking to reduce the pain. Zytee gel is another effective remedy for mouth ulcers. It has to be applied about three times a day. If you can use it before the ulcer forms, it can actually stop the ulcer from forming. Otherwise, ulcers heal faster when you use it.
You should also avoid eating any foods which aggravate the condition or cause the formation of ulcers. Usually highly spicy and acidic foods as well as sharp foods can result in mouth ulcers. Ulcers will usually go away even if untreated, but if there are many of them at a time, or they are a constant, you really need to check for a cause for this condition.
There are rarely complications in the case of mouth ulcers. However if the ulcers do not heal or increase in size and get painful, you may need to rule out cancer, thrush or any other infection which will need appropriate treatment. First line of investigation will be a culture and sensitivity test and the second will be a skin biopsy.
Of course there will a physical examination as well. Then the doctor can guide you as to the line of treatment to follow if there are any findings. Alternative remedies like naturopathy, homeopathy and ayurveda can also be of help.