Types Of Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers are a common occurrence in people of all ages. They are usually divided into the following types:
- Minor Ulcers These are small ulcers ranging from 2-8mm in diameter. These ulcers take about 10 to 14 days to clear up, which is shorter when compared to the other types.
- Major Ulcers These ulcers are bigger than the minor ones, and they are also set deeper into the skin. They usually have a raised and/or irregular border. It can take several weeks for these ulcers to clear up. They are also known to leave scars behind once they are healed.
- Herpetiform Ulcers When the ulcers are formed because of the Herpes virus, they are known as Herpetiform ulcers. They look like small pinheads and usually in clusters.
Listed below are a few frequently asked questions regarding mouth ulcers.
Stress Ulcers: What They Are
Stress ulcers are open sores found in certain areas of the digestive tract. They are caused by physical stress on the body, such as the kind that may lead to hospitalization or that occur during hospitalization. Extreme levels of physical stress from something like a severe injury or major surgery can lead to other physical changes in the body that lead to ulcers.
This condition is often confused with three similar conditions, which are:
- Peptic ulcers: A sore that occurs on the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine
- Gastritis: A condition characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining
- Gastropathy: Diseases that affect the mucosal lining of the stomach
These terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
You May Like: Artificial Sweeteners And Ulcerative Colitis
What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers are irritated by stomach acid. Some people notice this irritation more after they eat, and some people notice it more on an empty stomach. There are also certain irritants that seem to make ulcer symptoms worse and make them more difficult to heal. Smoking and alcohol are the biggest ones.
Also Check: Can I Donate Blood If I Have Ulcerative Colitis
How Are Duodenal Ulcers Treated
If your ulcer is caused by H pylori, the usual treatment is ‘triple therapy’. This involves taking 2 antibiotics and a medicine. The antibiotics kill the bacteria, while the medicine reduces the acid made by your stomach.
If you don’t have an H. pylori infection, and you have been using anti-inflammatory drugs, you will need to stop taking them . You will also need to start taking a drug to reduce the acid production in your stomach.
You can make some other changes to improve your symptoms, such as:
- taking antacids
What Is An Ulcer
Many people talk about ulcers as if they were experts, but very few seem to understand what an ulcer actually is.
Youve had countless ulcers throughout your life, but most develop externally. If you graze yourself, for example, you may lose layers of skin, your dermis and even the subcutaneous fat beneath this. The body reacts to this breach by creating an ulcer, or open sore. Eventually as long as the sore is not too big and does not get infected the sore or ulcer will heal itself.
Stomach ulcers are simply internal sores upon the lining of your stomach. This begs the question as you cannot scrape your stomach lining, how do stomach ulcers occur?
Also Check: Can I Get Disability For Stress
Recommended Reading: What Does An Ulcer Feel Like In Your Stomach
What Are The Causes Of Ulcers
Causes of ulcers are as follows:
- Stomach Ulcers are more likely to develop in people having a sedentary lifestyle or poor eating habits.
- Oesophageal ulcers often result from exposure to medications such as certain antibiotics or anti-inflammatories and alcohol abuse.
- Ulcers also form as a result of excessive stomach acid secretion, consuming fatty and oily foods, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. All of these factors contribute to a build-up of stomach acids which decay the protective lining of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum.
- According to a recent theory, bacterial infection is also one of the causes of peptic ulcers. For example, H.pylorii is present in 80% of stomach ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers.
- Overuse of over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen, alcohol consumption, psychological stress and smoking exacerbate the formation of ulcers, especially in those with H.pylori.
- Stomach ulcers are more probable to occur in elderly people. With advancing age, the pylorus relaxes and allows excess bile to seep up into the stomach which erodes the stomach lining.
- People with type A blood group are more prone to get cancerous stomach ulcers.
- Duodenal ulcers develop in those who have an O blood group type. This is because people of this blood group are unable to produce certain substances on the surface of blood cells that protect the lining of the duodenum.
Are Other Venous Ulcer Treatments Available
Venous ulcers that are severe or not responding to standard therapies may require additional treatments such as:
- Growth factor therapy, injectable substances that attract healthy cells to ulcers.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment in which you sit in a special, pressurized chamber and inhale pure oxygen.
- Lymphedema therapy, massage, skin care and bandaging techniques that clear fluid buildup.
- Skin graft, replacing diseased skin with healthy skin from another part of your body.
- Stem cell therapy, injections of bone marrow to generate healthy tissue.
- Venous disease treatment to correct blood pooling problems and improve circulation.
Don’t Miss: Home Remedies For Peptic Ulcer
What Treatments Are There For Ulcers
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your ulcer. For example, if our tests indicate that an infection caused by helicobacter pylori is what created your ulcer, well give you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.
Regardless of the cause, medications that help reduce the level of acid in your stomach can help the ulcer heal. And different lifestyle changes can accelerate healing as well, such as eliminating certain foods, abstaining from alcohol, and practicing stress management.
In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your provider at Prima Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan for your situation.
If you have a stomach ulcer or want to see if you do, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
You Might Also Enjoy…
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
A dull or burning pain in your stomach is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. You may feel the pain anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. The pain most often
- happens when your stomach is emptysuch as between meals or during the night
- stops briefly if you eat or if you take antacids
- lasts for minutes to hours
- comes and goes for several days, weeks, or months
Less common symptoms may include
- feeling sick to your stomach
Even if your symptoms are mild, you may have a peptic ulcer. You should see your doctor to talk about your symptoms. Without treatment, your peptic ulcer can get worse.
Don’t Miss: How To Measure Pressure Ulcers
What Is A Duodenal Ulcer
Duodenal ulcers are a common cause of abdominal pain. Once treated, they usually get better in a matter of weeks.
A duodenal ulcer is a sore that forms in the lining of the duodenum. Your duodenum is the first part of your small intestine. This is the part of your digestive system that food travels through, after it leaves your stomach.
You can get an ulcer in your stomach as well as in your duodenum. Stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers are both types of peptic ulcers. If you have either of these, you have what’s called ‘peptic ulcer disease’.
Why Are Ulcers Worse At Night
Ulcers are the open sores that develop in the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum. One of the aggravating factors is an increase in gastric acid in the stomach. When we eat food at night, our stomach makes a lot of acid to digest the food.
Once the digestion is completed, the stomach gets emptied and it remains as such for a longer duration of time. But the gastric acid levels still remain high there, as a result of which ulcers that are already present worsen.
Don’t Miss: Why Is Ulcerative Colitis So Painful
How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated
Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you donât treat them, the ulcers tend to come back.
They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected. Or they can cause swelling, which may block food from moving from your stomach into your small intestine.
If H. pylori is the culprit, your doctor may prescribe a mix of antibiotics to kill it. If aspirin and other NSAIDs are behind the ulcer, you may need to cut down on them, stop taking them altogether, or switch to another pain reliever.
Your doctor may also give you antacids to fight stomach acid, or prescribe medicine to lessen the acid your body makes. Prescription drugs called cytoprotective agents can help protect the lining of the stomach or small intestine so the ulcer can heal.
How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, whether you take NSAIDs and other drugs, and medical history. Theyâll also check you for bloating in the belly and pain. That may be enough to make a diagnosis.
The only way your doctor can tell for sure if you have an ulcer is to look. They may use a series of X-rays or a test called an endoscopy. This test allows them to pass a thin, bendy tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end so they can check the lining for ulcers. They may also take a small piece of the lining to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample tests also can screen for the bacteria.
You May Like: Ulcerative Colitis And Kidney Stones
What Ulcer Treatments Are Available
If your ulcer is bleeding, your doctor may treat it during an endoscopy procedure by injecting medications into it. Your doctor could also use a clamp or cauterization to seal it off and stop the bleeding.
For most people, doctors treat ulcers with medications, including:
- Proton pump inhibitors : These drugs reduce acid, which allows the ulcer to heal. PPIs include Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Aciphex®, Protonix® and Nexium®.
- Histamine receptor blockers : These drugs also reduce acid production and include Tagamet®, Pepcid®, Zantac® and Axid®.
- Antibiotics: These medications kill bacteria. Doctors use them to treat H. pylori.
- Protective medications: Like a liquid bandage, these medications cover the ulcer in a protective layer to prevent further damage from digestive acids and enzymes. Doctors commonly recommend Carafate® or Pepto-Bismol®.
How Are Foot And Toe Ulcers Treated
The goal of treating a foot or toe ulcer is to relieve pain and heal your wound. Your treatment plan will be individualized based on what medical condition is causing your ulcers. If you cant correct the cause of your ulcer, its likely to come back after treatment.
There are both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for foot and toe ulcers. For simple, early stage foot and toe ulcers, nonsurgical treatments may work. Ulcers that are more advanced, especially ones that are infected, may require surgery.
Read Also: What Can Cause Ulcerative Colitis Flare Ups
Also Check: Foods To Eat During Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up
What Are Stomach Ulcers
There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.
Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.
Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
When To Call A Healthcare Provider
If the ulcer is large or deep, growing in size, incredibly painful, or if you have any signs of infection , you notice a bad smell coming from your ulcer, or you’re running a fever, call your healthcare provider right away.
You’ll also want to call your healthcare provider if your ulcer, no matter how minor, isn’t showing signs healing after a week to 10 days.
In most cases, the ulcer will be dressed to protect the wound. However, if your ulcer is draining considerably, your healthcare provider may recommend leaving the wound uncovered. Dressing the ulcer if it’s draining considerably can impede healing.
If your ulcer is painful, pain medication can be prescribed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed either prophylactically to prevent infection or to treat an already infected wound.
Debridement is done to remove dead tissue from more serious ulcers. For deep ulcers or those that aren’t healing after a long period of time, skin grafts may be needed. In the most severe cases, part of the foot, leg, or other appendage may have to be amputated.
Restoring good circulation is key in treating and preventing ulcers. This includes elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings, reducing pressure on ulcer-prone areas, superficial vein surgery. Leg ulcers, in particular, are incredibly likely to reoccur, so compression stockings are often needed to be worn for life.
Don’t Miss: Best Protein Shakes For Ulcerative Colitis
How Do Pain Relief Drugs Work
In a certain way, all pain is in your head. When we feel pain, its the result of an electrical signal being sent from the nerves in a part of your body to your brain.
But the whole process isnt electrical. When tissue is injured , the cells release certain chemicals in response. These chemicals cause inflammation and amplify the electrical signal coming from the nerves. As a result, they increase the pain you feel.
Painkillers work by blocking the effects of these pain chemicals. The problem is that you cant focus most pain relievers specifically on your headache or bad back. Instead, it travels through your whole body. This can cause some unexpected side effects.
Donât Miss: Over The Counter Ulcer Medication
How To Diagnose Ulcers
- Urea breath test:
The patient is diagnosed using a urea breath test where a specific drink is given to patient which gets broken down by H.pylori bacteria and the breath is then analyzed to see if he/she has H.pylori infection.
- Stool antigen test/Blood test
A blood test is done to analyze whether it contains antibodies to H.pylori which is nowadays replaced by stool antigen test.
This is done to look inside the stomach directly and detect whether or not it contains an ulcer. The process involves passing an endoscope with a camera at one end into the mouth and the duodenum. A mild sedative may be given before the procedure and an anesthetic may be sprayed onto the throat to make the procedure more comfortable.
The images captured by the camera usually confirm or rule out the ulcer. However, sometimes a small tissue sample may also be needed to be taken and tested for the same. This is usually an outpatient procedure and the patient is usually sent home the same day.
Endoscopy is another procedure to diagnose ulcers. PPIs and H2 receptor antagonists are used to reduce acid levels until the swelling goes down. If an obstruction is caused by scar tissue, it may either need endoscopic balloon inflation.
Don’t Miss: Does Ulcerative Colitis Make You Tired
Does Emotional Stress Cause Ulcer Signs And Symptoms
Can stress cause ulcers? Get the answer from Essentias Vicki Andvik, PA-C in the gastroenterology department.
Video taken from the channel: Essentia Health
In this video the surgeons explore the relationship between stress, anxiety and depression and musculoskeletal pain. Although there is a very complex relationship between mental health and body pain, the surgeons try to simplify the issues based on the experience they have treating orthopedic conditions in the presence of stress, anxiety and depression.
Video taken from the channel: Talking With Docs
Video taken from the channel: DoctorsOrdersTV
Video taken from the channel: Howcast
Dr. Susan Levenstein discusses her manuscript Psychological Stress Increases Risk for Peptic Ulcer, Regardless of Helicobacter pylori Infection or Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. To view abstract http://bit.ly/1Dk7ZLt.
Video taken from the channel: AmerGastroAssn
Though emotional stress cant cause an ulcer, if you have a peptic ulcer, it can make your symptoms seem worse, it adds. Thats because stress can lower your threshold for any type of pain. Finally, as the Canadian Society points out, you could trigger or ramp up your ulcer pain if you give in to stress by smoking or drinking alcohol.Another relationship between stress and ulcers involves the stress caused by the ulcer itself.
In other words, the link between stress and its role to cause ulcers is not fully understood yet.
List of related literature:
Who Treats Diabetic Foot
Diabetic foot is a condition that can occur in people with diabetes. It can cause serious problems, including ulcers, infections, and amputation. Treatment for diabetic foot often includes special shoes, wound care, and blood sugar control.
Foot issues associated with diabetes can be severe if a person does not manage the disease properly or is unaware of its symptoms. When blood sugar levels are too high for an extended period of time, it can lead to nerve damage as well as circulation issues. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop peripheral vascular disease if they do not take their medication. If you have diabetic neuropathy, your shoes may be difficult to see when they do not fit, increasing your chances of having blisters. Bullous diabeticorum, a condition that can affect people with diabetes, can also occur. A diabetic callus is defined as a hard thickened, thickened area of skin. It is possible that large calluses on the feet will make it difficult to walk and may even cause pain.
When suffering from diabetes or foot pain, see a doctor as soon as possible. Foot pain associated with diabetes is difficult to treat and can lead to serious infections if left untreated. If you are having a ulcers, you should keep it clean and dry, wear proper shoes, and use wound care products as directed by your doctor. If you continue to experience persistent foot pain, consult a doctor.
Don’t Miss: What Does A Skin Ulcer Look Like