Possible Causes Of Mouth And Tongue Ulcers
So what causes tongue ulcers? Besides canker sores, there are a number of different possible triggers that can make a mouth ulcer appear.
- Oral thrush: This is a condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans within the mouth. The fungus creates white, creamy-colored cuts along the inner cheek and tongue that can develop into ulcers if not treated. Aside from the white lesions, oral thrush also presents with cracking at the corners of the mouth, loss of taste, and cottonmouth.
- Injury: Minor injuries can sometimes develop into canker sores or mouth ulcers. Over-eager brushing, dental work, biting your cheek or tongue, or sporting accidents are all possible causes.
- Food sensitivities: For obvious reasons, the surface of your mouth reacts to the food you eat. In some people, foods like chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic food can provoke enough irritation to form a sore.
- Allergies: Your mouth is home to lots of bacteria, and sometimes your body wants them out. The ulcer that forms is a result of tissue getting caught in the way.
- Bacteria and viruses: Various illnesses can cause mouth ulcers to appear. The most common candidate is called Helicobacter pylori, the same culprit behind peptic ulcers and herpes. Strictly speaking, herpes causes cold sores, which, while not related to canker sores, can develop into more persistent wounds like a mouth ulcer if left unaddressed.
Who Is More Likely To Get Ulcers
One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a group of common pain relievers that includes ibuprofen .
- A family history of ulcers.
- Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
- Regularly drinking alcohol.
After The Ulcer Has Healed
Once you have had a venous leg ulcer, another ulcer could develop within months or years.
The most effective method of preventing this is to wear compression stockings at all times when you’re out of bed.
Your nurse will help you find a stocking that fits correctly and you can manage yourself.
Various accessories are available to help you put them on and take them off.
Page last reviewed: 11 January 2019 Next review due: 11 January 2022
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Other Causes And Factors
Other causes are rare. For example, some viral infections can cause a stomach ulcer. Crohn’s disease may cause a stomach ulcer in addition to other problems of the gut.
Stomach cancer may at first look similar to an ulcer. Stomach cancer is uncommon but may need to be ‘ruled out’ if you are found to have a stomach ulcer.
Inflammatory Cells And Cytokines
The number of macrophages infiltrating scar tissue is five times higher than neutrophils in a non-flat scar, suggesting that these macrophages may play a key role in the pathophysiology of the QOUH and thus future ulcer recurrence. These macrophages produce increased amounts of IL-1, TNF- and MCP-1. The proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1 and TNF-, further activate and stimulate macrophages, thus constituting a self-perpetuating circuit. The increased stimulation of production of these cytokines induced by NSAIDs, stress or H. pylori may cause these macrophages to increase cytokine production and/or release, leading in turn to attraction and accumulation of neutrophils. Neutrophils release proteases and active oxygen species, damage the scar tissue and induce ulcer recurrence.
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Coconut Oil And Coconut Milk
Coconut milk and coconut oil both have a soothing ability, which reduces the pain and inflammation that causes mouth ulcers and provides a healing effect on those stubborn mouth ulcers.
Try to use fresh coconut milk for mouth ulcers do not use canned coconut milk.
How to use
- You can apply some coconut oil to the affected area with the help of a cotton ball or your finger. Repeat this process 4 to 5 times a day.
- Take some fresh coconut milk and directly apply to the affected area, or you can also rinse your mouth with coconut milk for 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat this process thrice a day.
- One can also add some drops of honey in coconut milk and coconut oil for better results.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of An Ulcer
Peptic ulcers are usually chronic and may come and go over a period of many years, even without treatment. The most common symptoms are:
- abdominal pain, usually located in the upper central abdomen
- pain which may also be felt in the back
- pain which may be worse when the stomach is empty although not always the case, this pain can sometimes be relieved by eating
- pain which wakes a patient from sleep
- indigestion or heartburn
- vomiting and anemia.
In a few patients, an ulcer may be silent until it erodes completely through the gut wall causing perforation, or erodes into a blood vessel causing bleeding. These complications are serious and usually present as an emergency.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isn’t the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Being female
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
When To Seek Medical Care
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How Is An Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They may do an endoscopy. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube attached to a camera down your throat and into your stomach. Your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool for H. pylori. They also can test a sample of your stomach lining. Your doctor also will ask you if you regularly take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines.
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.
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Caring For A Pressure Sore
Stage I or II sores will often heal if cared for carefully. Stage III and IV sores are harder to treat and may take a long time to heal. Here’s how to care for a pressure sore at home.
Relieve the pressure on the area.
- Use special pillows, foam cushions, booties, or mattress pads to reduce the pressure. Some pads are water- or air-filled to help support and cushion the area. What type of cushion you use depends on your wound and whether you are in bed or in a wheelchair. Talk with your health care provider about what choices would be best for you, including what shapes and types of material.
- Change positions often. If you are in a wheelchair, try to change your position every 15 minutes. If you are in bed, you should be moved about every 2 hours.
Care for the sore as directed by your provider. Keep the wound clean to prevent infection. Clean the sore every time you change a dressing.
Avoid further injury or friction.
- Powder your sheets lightly so your skin doesn’t rub on them in bed.
- Avoid slipping or sliding as you move positions. Try to avoid positions that put pressure on your sore.
- Care for healthy skin by keeping it clean and moisturized.
- Check your skin for pressure sores every day. Ask your caregiver or someone you trust to check areas you can’t see.
- If the pressure sore changes or a new one forms, tell your provider.
Take care of your health.
Looking After Yourself During Treatment
The following advice may help your ulcer heal more quickly.
- Try to keep active by walking regularly. Sitting and standing still without elevating your legs can make venous leg ulcers and swelling worse.
- Whenever you’re sitting or lying down, keep your affected leg elevated.
- Regularly exercise your legs by moving your feet up and down, and rotating them at the ankles. This can help encourage better circulation.
- If you’re overweight, try to reduce your weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Stop smoking and moderate your alcohol consumption. This can help the ulcer heal faster.
- Be careful not to injure your affected leg, and wear comfortable, well-fitting footwear.
You may also find it helpful to attend a local healthy leg club, such as those provided by the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation, for support and advice.
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What Is The Natural Way To Cure Throat Ulcer
Drink cold fluids or suck on something cold, like ice chips or a popsicle, to soothe the sores. Drink extra fluids, especially water, throughout the day. Ask your doctor whether you should use a numbing rinse or medicine to relieve throat pain. Gargle with warm salt water or a mixture of salt, water, and baking soda.
How I Healed My Ulcer
In the Fall of 2018, I vowed that I was going to get my healthiest EVER. It might not seem like much of a commitment for someone who already loves health and wellness. For me, it meant a lot. I was ready to pour my energy into focusing on myself.
I was about to get a rude awakening. And instead of focusing on getting my healthiest ever, I was going to be focusing on healing a stomach ulcer. Twice .
Before I got a stomach ulcer, I thought that they were pretty uncommon. In fact, my doctor said that it is unusual for a normally healthy 29 year old with a good diet and exercise regimen to get one.
I do wonder if thats true. Through sharing my journey Ive connected with so many people who have or think they have an ulcer.
If thats you then youve come to the right place. Ive done the research and Ive put in the work. Ive figured out what didwork for me. Im going to share it with you in the hopes that I will inspire you to take charge of your health and maybe give you some good ideas on how to tackle your ulcer.
Buckle in because today were going to get through what a stomach ulcer is, what the symptoms are, and how I got rid of mine for good.
Please remember that I am not a medical professional and that this should be considered opinion only. I cannot guarantee that what I did will work for you. However everything that I share here really made a difference for me!
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How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer
Describing your symptoms may lead your doctor to suspect that you have a peptic ulcer, but it wonât likely help determine the type, because the symptoms of stomach and duodenal ulcers are so similar. The doctor will do tests like these to figure out which specific type of ulcer you have:
- Endoscopy. This is the most accurate diagnostic test to diagnose a peptic ulcer. The doctor puts a flexible tube down your throat to see inside your esophagus , stomach, and duodenum. This allows the doctor to see the cause of bleeding and test for any bacterial infection. During this exam, your doctor may also do a biopsy to check for cancer.
- Barium swallow. If you can’t have an endoscopy, this test, also called an upper GI series of X-rays, can help your doctor identify and locate the ulcer and determine its type and severity. The test requires you to drink a “barium milkshake,” which has a liquid that will show up on an X-ray. They may ask you to eat only bland, easy-to-digest foods for 2-3 days before the test. After drinking the chalky liquid, you lie down on a tilting exam table. This evenly spreads the barium around your upper digestive tract and lets the X-ray take pictures at different angles.
What Are Leg Ulcers
Leg ulcers are sores that develop on broken or injured skin. Usually, they are more prominent right above the ankles, on the inner side of your legs.
Other than skin injuries, leg ulcers may also develop as a result of an underlying medical condition. The diseases which may lead to the development of leg ulcers are discussed briefly below.
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What Tests Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
To confirm a person has an ulcer a diagnostic imaging test will usually be ordered. The two most widely used tests are:
- Upper GI series : This is a type of X-ray. The patient is given a chalky liquid to drink that increases the contrast on the X-ray, making certain features easier to see. Because this liquid contains barium, this test is sometimes called a barium swallow.
- Endoscopy : An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end. The patient is given a mild sedative, and then the tube is passed through the mouth into the stomach. The doctor can see the lining of the stomach to diagnose a peptic ulcer. Tiny samples of the tissue will be taken , which are examined under a microscope.
If a diagnostic imaging test reveals an ulcer, the patient will most likely have a test to see if H pylori bacteria are present.
- It is important to be certain about this, because treatment of the H pylori is likely to heal the ulcer.
- Ulcers caused by H pylori are treated differently than ulcers caused by medications.
Three types of tests are available to detect H pylori.
Heres What I Did To Heal My Ulcer:
Give up Refined Foods Refined foods are harder for your stomach to break down, period. Eating when you have an ulcer can be difficult enough, but sticking to a whole foods focused diet really helps. Fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, baked and lightly seasoned fish and plain baked potatoes were all staples for me. A squeeze of lemon over my food helped to give it some flavour without relying on prepared sauces. When it comes to food, keep it simple.
Saying No to Red Meat Red meat takes a lot of time and effort for your stomach to digest. If youre looking for animal protein, stick to easier digesting proteins like fish or chicken. I didnt find this change difficult as I rarely eat red meat as it is. Dont be tempted by that steak you will regret it when youre stomach struggles to get it down.
Say See Ya Later to Coffee This was by far the hardest change I made to heal my stomach ulcer. I love coffee. Unfortunately in the beginning stages of my ulcer, I would still drink it. I enjoyed it while I had it, but it would leave my stomach burning for the rest of the day. This is because coffee actually increases stomach acid production, which irritates the ulcer. I swapped out my coffee in the morning for decaf green tea and it really made a difference.
I know how hopeless it can feel when your health goes sideways, so I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them below.
Good luck on your ulcer healing journey.
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