Is Treatment Always Necessary
If the symptoms are bearable, then treatment isn’t needed. This is most likely the case for the more common minor canker sores: 85 out of 100 people who have canker sores have this type, which is the mildest. Minor canker sores are only a few millimeters wide, are painful for three to five days, and go away completely after about two weeks.
What Are The Complications Associated With Cold Sores
Although complications from cold sores are rare, they can include:
- Eye infections: The herpes simplex virus can spread to the eye when someone touches a cold sore and then touches their eye. If HSV-1 spreads to the eye, it can cause HSV keratitis a potentially serious infection of the cornea. Severe HSV keratitis infections can lead to blindness.
- Genital sores: HSV-1 can spread to the genitals through oral sex, producing warts or ulcers on the genitals or anus. But even though people sometimes call it oral herpes, HSV-1 is not the same as HSV-2, the sexually transmitted virus that causes most cases of genital herpes.
For certain groups of people, cold sores can lead to serious complications. The following groups of people should receive medical treatment immediately if they have a cold sore:
- Newborns: Babies under 6 months old may develop complications such as high fever and seizures because their immune systems arent fully developed.
- Immunocompromised people: For people with weakened immune systems, the herpes simplex virus can lead to encephalitis . If you have HIV or are undergoing chemotherapy, cold sores could be more severe and could take longer to go away.
- People who have eczema: The herpes simplex virus can cause a life-threatening infection called eczema herpeticum in adults and children with eczema. It is important to see your doctor right away if you have eczema and you develop a cold sore.
What Is The Treatment For Mouth Ulcers
Most mouth ulcers get better on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. Until your ulcer heals:
- use a soft toothbrush to reduce further damage
- rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash
- avoid foods that make the pain worse, such as spicy or acidic food
- choose softer foods that are less likely to make the ulcer feel worse
- use a straw to drink cool liquids so they dont touch ulcers in the front of your mouth
- take paracetamol for pain relief.
Also Check: What Helps Ulcers In Your Stomach
What Causes Aphthous Mouth Ulcers
The cause is not known. They are not infectious and you cannot ‘catch’ aphthous mouth ulcers. In most cases, the ulcers develop for no apparent reason in people who are healthy.
In some cases the ulcers are related to other factors or diseases. These include:
- Injury – such as badly fitting dentures, a graze from a harsh toothbrush, etc.
- Changes in hormone levels. Some women find that mouth ulcers occur just before their period. In some women, the ulcers only develop after the menopause.
- Stopping smoking – some people find they develop ulcers only after stopping smoking.
- Some street drugs such as cocaine.
You should inform your doctor if you have any other symptoms in addition to the mouth ulcers. Other important symptoms would include skin or genital ulcers or joint pains and inflammation. Sometimes a blood test or other investigations are advised if other causes of mouth ulcers are suspected.
Whats The Role Of Immunosuppressants In Stem Cell Transplants
Stem cell transplants can treat many conditions, including:
- Bone marrow problems like aplastic anemia.
Some stem cell transplants use your own cells . People who have an autologous transplant dont need immunosuppressant medications.
Allogeneic stem cell transplants replace diseased cells in your body with healthy ones from a donor . After a transplant, donor cells begin to build a new immune system in your body .
Sometimes, this new immune system views your body as foreign. The immune system may attack healthy tissues and organs. This leads to graft-versus-host disease .
Immunosuppressants lower the chances of GVHD. You receive different intravenous or oral immunosuppressants for several weeks to months during and after a stem cell transplant. You may need to take immunosuppressants for years until the new immune system settles down.
Don’t Miss: How To Apply Compression Bandages For Leg Ulcers
Is It Mouth Cancer
In a few cases, a long-lasting mouth ulcer can be a sign of mouth cancer. Ulcers caused by mouth cancer usually appear on or under the tongue, although you can get them in other areas of the mouth.
Risk factors for mouth cancer include:
- smoking or using products that contain tobacco
- drinking alcohol smokers who are also heavy drinkers have a much higher risk compared to the population at large
- infection with the human papilloma virus the virus that causes genital warts
It’s important to detect mouth cancer as early as possible. If mouth cancer is detected early, the chances of a complete recovery are good. Regular dental check-ups are the best way to detect the early signs.
How Are Mouth Ulcers Treated
While most mouth ulcers heal on their own, topical treatments may be prescribed to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of complications. Common mouth ulcer treatments include antiseptic gels, steroid ointments or medicated mouth rinses. In severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe immunosuppressants.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer In Stomach
Who Gets Canker Sores
Canker sores usually begin showing up between the ages of 10 and 20, although they can happen at any time in a person’s life. They’re fairly common: About 1 in 5 people get them on a regular basis.
About twice as many women as men get them. Doctors think that may be due to the differences in male and female hormones, especially because women often get them during certain times in their menstrual cycle.
Try A Baking Soda Rinse
A mouth rinse containing sodium bicarbonate, commonly referred to as baking soda, may be beneficial for relieving oral ulcers caused by acidic foods or beverages.
This alkalizing agent can help neutralize the pH of your oral cavity and aid recovery, provided it is used with the required precautions.
Note: The use of baking soda is based on anecdotal evidence only and, therefore, should be employed with caution.
Recommended Reading: Bentonite Clay For Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosis For Mouth Ulcers
You may not need to see your doctor about a mouth sore unless they are persistent, you have other symptoms, or you are feeling very unwell. Your doctor will take your personal and medical history and do a physical exam to look at your sores.
Your doctor may look to see if you have large white patches on the roof of your mouth to rule out an infection called thrush or for signs of other conditions.
Your dentist can also examine your mouth and diagnose your mouth ulcers during annual checkups and cleanings.
What To Eat If You Have An Ulcer
When suffering from a mouth ulcer, many foods can be included in your diet to get faster relief from the pain and infection. Follow this ulcer diet to get rid of that painful and annoying ulcer:
- Vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and potato
- Vitamin C and calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, milk, and citrus juices
- Fruits such as bananas, apples, pumpkins, papaya, and grapefruit
- Vitamin B-rich foods like eggs, rice milk, and soy milk
Don’t Miss: Bleeding Ulcer Blood In Stool
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
This includes using a high-quality toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Also, use gentle strokes when brushing your teeth to avoid damaging the inner lining of your mouth or gums. To keep your oral cavity in the best of condition, use an alcohol-free mouthwash that preferably contains chlorhexidine gluconate.
What Causes Canker Sores
The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown. A stress or minor injury to the inside of the mouth is thought to be the cause of simple canker sores. Certain foods including citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen , is another common cause. Sometimes a sharp tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, might also trigger the sores.
Some cases of complex canker sores are seen in patients with diseases of the immune system. These diseases include lupus, Behcet’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and AIDS. Canker sores are also seen in patients with nutritional problems, such as a deficiency in vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid or iron.
Also Check: How Long Does Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up Last
Treatments For Tongue Ulcer
Most ulcers on the tongue can be managed with home remedies. The ulcers will typically heal on their own, but remedies can be used to limit the pain and quicken the time it takes to rid the sore.
Note: If your sores do not get better within a few days, they appear to be growing or you develop sores frequently then you should see a doctor to determine if you need medication.
Canker Sore Causes And Risk Factors
Doctors donât know what exactly causes most canker sores.
Things that might cause minor sores include:
- Tissue injury, like from a sharp tooth or a dental appliance
- Certain foods, including citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
- An allergy to something in your food or in your toothpaste or mouthwash
- Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers
Things that might cause complex canker sores include:
- An underlying health condition like a weakened immune system, HIV/AIDS, lupus, or Behcetâs disease
- Nutritional problems like too little vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, or iron
- Gastrointestinal diseases like celiac or Crohnâs
About 1 in 5 people gets canker sores regularly. Theyâre more common in women, possibly because of hormonal differences. They may also run in families.
Don’t Miss: Is Alcohol Bad For Ulcerative Colitis
Mouth Ulcers That Won’t Heal
See your dentist or doctor if your mouth ulcers dont clear up within 2 weeks, or if you get them frequently.
Its important not to ignore an ulcer that you have had for more than 2 weeks, especially if you use tobacco products and drink alcohol regularly. This is because tobacco use and drinking alcohol increase your risk of mouth cancer.
Treatment For Mouth Ulcers
Most mouth ulcers are usually harmless and resolve by themselves within 10 to 14 days. Other types of mouth ulcers, such as the aphthous variety or those caused by herpes simplex infection, need topical treatment .
Its not possible to speed up the recovery of ulcers, but the symptoms can be managed and the risk of complications reduced.
Treatment options for mouth ulcers include:
- Avoid spicy and sour foods until the ulcers heal.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Keep your mouth clean.
- Apply antiseptic gel to the ulcers.
- Regularly rinse your mouth out with warm, slightly salted water, keeping the rinse in your mouth for up to 4 minutes at a time.
- Use an alcohol-free medicated mouthwash twice daily.
- Use a topical alcohol-free steroid mouthwash or ointment this is generally prescribed by your dentist or oral medicine specialist.
- If required in severe cases, immunosuppressant medication may be prescribed by your oral health professional.
Also Check: What Should I Eat With Ulcerative Colitis
What Can You Tell Me About Mouth Ulcers In Kids
Kids can develop mouth ulcers just like adults. You can manage symptoms by giving your child over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ice, popsicles or cold liquids may help soothe the area. If your child has a mouth ulcer that hasnt healed in two weeks, call your healthcare provider.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
While mouth ulcers usually arent dangerous, they can certainly be painful and inconvenient. Fortunately there are several mouth ulcer treatments and remedies that can ease your symptoms until your lesions heal.
How To Treat Mouth Ulcers And Canker Sores
Katherine VankoughnetThe causeimproper nutritionimmune systemexcessive stress levelsHow to treat mouth ulcers and canker soresHome remedies:Oils: Page 1 of 2 – find more great tips for preventing and treating canker sores on page 2More ways to treat mouth ulcers and canker soresVitamins:Over-the-counter:PreventionIdentify underlying conditions: celiacAvoid problem foods:Reduce stress:yogaegular exerciseSwitch to SLS-free toothpaste:
Recommended Reading: Is Ulcerative Colitis An Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Treating Mouth Ulcer Pain
There is no cure for mouth ulcers, and treatment isnt usually needed since they go away on their own. But they can be uncomfortable, and there are a few ways to ease the pain:
- Over-the counter ointments
- Basic water and baking soda mouth rinse
- Avoid toothpaste and mouthwash with sodium lauryl sulfate, as it may take longer for the ulcer to heal
- Avoid spicy and acidic foods
If you have large or multiple mouth ulcers, your dentist mayprescribe medications that treat the symptoms, or even chemically cauterize the ulcer.
Read Also: Aip Diet For Ulcerative Colitis
How To Reduce The Risk Of Mouth Ulcers
Ulcers cannot always be avoided. However, observing a few precautions might help reduce the risk of developing ulcers.
- Maintain proper hygiene, especially oral hygiene. Family members with mouth ulcers and sores on the body should avoid contact with the baby.
- Avoid recurrent trauma from a toy, teether, or a toothbrush.
- If your baby is known to have allergies or a chronic illness, then managing them will help avoid ulcers.
- Feed the baby a wholesome diet.
Mouth ulcers are common and tend to go away on their own. If you suspect something wrong with a sore in your babys mouth, then do not hesitate to see a doctor. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help determine the exact cause.
Have something to share about mouth ulcers in babies and toddlers? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Also Check: Causes Of Bleeding Ulcers In Stomach
Are There Home Remedies For Mouth Ulcers
There are also several things you can do at home to relieve discomfort associated with oral lesions. Here are some tips for healing a mouth ulcer:
- Use over-the-counter topical anesthetic, such as Orajel or Anbesol®.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Practice good oral hygiene to keep your mouth as clean as possible.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater a few times each day.
- Avoid hot and spicy foods until the ulcer heals.
Canker Sore Vs Cold Sore
Canker and cold sores arenât the same.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters. Unlike canker sores, a virus causes cold sores, and theyâre highly contagious. Also, cold sores typically appear outside your mouth — usually under your nose, around your lips, or under your chin — but canker sores show up inside your mouth.
Read Also: Stage 1 Vs Stage 2 Pressure Ulcer
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Behet’s Disease
There are a few different groups of people that are more likely to develop this disease than others, including:
- Those who live in the parts of the world where this disease is the most common.
- 20-40 year old people.
- Those with specific genes .
- Men, who are more at risk of developing this disease than women.
Medicines For Mouth Ulcers
If your mouth ulcer is causing a lot of pain or not healing, there are medicines that can help relieve pain, protect the ulcerated area, reduce inflammation or prevent further infection. The choice of medicine will depend on how much discomfort you are experiencing and the cause of the ulcer. Talk to a pharmacist about the following options:
- Antiseptic mouthwashes are used to prevent infection by stopping the build-up of bacteria
- Protective pastes act as a protective covering when applied to the ulcer
- Steroid-containing pastes help to relieve pain, inflammation , discomfort and speed up healing
- Local analgesics come in the form of a mouthwash, spray, gel or ointment and offer pain relief to the area, in and around the ulcer
- Antiviral creams are available if your mouth ulcer is caused by the herpes simplex virus .
Your GP may prescribe stronger medication to treat severe, recurrent or infected mouth ulcers.
You May Like: Budesonide Vs Prednisone For Ulcerative Colitis
How Are Canker Sores Treated
Pain from a canker sore generally lessens in a few days and the sores usually heal without treatment in about a week or two. Simple over-the-counter products, such as Kank-A®, Zilactin® or Orajel®, can be taken to ease symptoms.
Sores that are large, painful, or dont heal before new ones appear may be treated with a prescription antibacterial mouth rinse, a corticosteroid ointment or a prescription or nonprescription solution to reduce the pain and irritation.
Treatment For Mouth Ulcers In Babies And Toddlers
Treatment depends on the severity of the ulcers, age of the baby, and the general health of the baby. The doctor may prescribe one of the following treatment methods .
- Application of topical ointments containing local anesthetic agents to alleviate the symptoms.
- Medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with the pain.
- Mouthwashes might be advised for toddlers to help with the ulcers.
- If the ulcers occurred due to viral infections like herpes simplex virus, the doctor might suggest an antiviral medication in some severe cases and in immunodeficient patient.
Never give any medication, including over-the-counter drugs, to a baby or a toddler without consulting a doctor.
Read Also: Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment Guidelines