Causes Of Mouth Ulcers Or Sores
- Canker Sores. The main cause of 1 or 2 mouth ulcers after age 5.
- Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease. The most common cause of multiple ulcers in the mouth. These ulcers are mainly on the tongue and sides of the mouth. Most children also have small deep blisters on the palms and soles. Due to the Coxsackie virus. It is common between ages 1 to 5 years.
- Herpes Simplex Virus Infection. The first infection with the herpes cold sore virus can be severe. It can cause 10 or more ulcers on the gums, tongue and lips. Key findings are additional ulcers on the outer lips or skin around the mouth. Also causes fever, pain and trouble swallowing. Usually occurs age 1 to 3. It usually follows contact with an adult who has active cold sores . Often they have kissed the child.
- Recurrent Cold Sores . Sores are only found outside the mouth on the outer lip. They may recur 2 or 3 times a year in the same place. There are no ulcers inside the mouth. Adult cold sores are the cause of Herpes Simplex infections in young children. Occurs in 20& percnt of teens and adults.
- Mouth Injury. Common mouth injuries are biting the tongue or inside of the cheek. Others can be caused by a toothbrush. The lining of the mouth always looks white when it heals. So forgotten injuries can look like a canker sore.
- Mouth Burns. Hot foods can cause mouth sores. They also turn white as they heal.
When To See A Doctor
People who frequently get mouth ulcers may find it difficult to know when to see a doctor.
There are some situations, however, where a person should see a doctor as soon as possible. Some of these circumstances include:
- the appearance of a non-painful ulcer in one or more areas of the mouth
- unusual ulcers that appear in a new spot in the mouth
- ulcers that are spreading
- ulcers lasting longer than 3 weeks.
Others may want to seek medical attention or treatment for their ulcers if:
- they are particularly painful or big
- a fever appears
- they develop after starting a new medication
- secondary bacterial infections
What Are The Symptoms Of A Mouth Ulcer
Mouth ulcers are easy to spot. They usually appear as sores on your lips, gums, tongue, inner cheeks or roof of the mouth. While red around the edges, mouth ulcers are typically white, yellow or gray in the center. You may only develop one ulcer, or there might be more. Other symptoms could include:
- Swelling around the ulcer.
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Sign Of Something Serious
While mouth ulcers are painful but not life-threatening for most, they should be taken seriously, especially if children get them, Dr Nespolon said.
If children get them, they sometimes refuse to drink because of the pain and can become dehydrated.
Anyone with recurrent mouth ulcers should visit their GP to make sure they dont have a systemic illness.
One ulcer while youre sick is OK, but persistent and recurrent ones could be a sign of illness, Dr Nespolon said.
Aphthous ulcers can be a sign of systemic diseases including coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease especially if youre also experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss.
Mouth ulcers can also be an indication of oral cancer. If youre a smoker and you develop a mouth ulcer particularly on your tongue you should get it checked by GP, Dr Nespolon added.
But oral cancer is not a disease that only affects smokers.
The demographics of oral cancer have changed significantly over the last decade, said Professor McCullough.
Theres been an increase in the number of non-smoking people getting oral cancer.
We think that heavy alcohol consumption may be playing a bigger role.
And oral cancers are often detected very late, partly because people ignore symptoms, which include large mouth ulcers.
Choose Your Foods Carefully
Do your best to stay away from known canker sore triggers, especially if youve identified a certain food that irritates your mouth. These acidic foods are the most common culprits:
On the other hand, other foods like honey, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar can provide temporary relief to painful canker sores.
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Do Mouth Sores Need To Be Diagnosed
You can usually tell when you have a mouth sore without needing a healthcare professionals diagnosis. However, contact a healthcare professional if you:
- have white patches on your sores, as this may be a sign of leukoplakia or oral lichen planus
- have or suspect you have herpes simplex or another infection
- have sores that dont go away or get worse after a couple of weeks
- started taking a new medication
- started cancer treatment
- recently had transplant surgery
During your visit, a healthcare professional will examine your mouth, tongue, and lips. If they suspect you have cancer, they may perform a biopsy and run some tests.
Minor mouth sores often go away naturally within 1 to 2 weeks. Some simple home remedies might help reduce the pain and possibly speed up the healing process. You may want to:
- avoid hot, spicy, salty, citrus-based, and high sugar foods
- avoid tobacco and alcohol
- eat ice, ice pops, sherbet, or other cold foods
- take a pain medication, such as acetaminophen
- avoid squeezing or picking at the sores or blisters
- apply a thin paste of baking soda and water
- gently dab on a solution that is 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water
- ask your pharmacist about other over-the-counter medications, pastes, or mouthwashes that may be helpful
What Do Mouth Sores Look Like
Different conditions can cause mouth sores, according to the Merck Manual.
They may look different depending on the cause. Mouth sores can appear a different color than the surrounding tissue, including white, yellow, red, or purple.
The following images show different types of mouth sores. These images are not intended to provide a diagnosis. If you have unexplained mouth sores or mouth sores that come back or last for a long time, it is best to visit a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
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How Are Canker Sores Diagnosed
Canker sores are fairly common, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you have sores that last longer than 2 weeks or you can’t eat or drink because of the pain, call your doctor. Also call if you get the sores more than two or three times a year.
Usually, no tests are needed to diagnose canker sores. Your doctor can identify them based on your medical history and physical exam alone.
In some cases, doctors may want to do blood tests to find out if another condition like a vitamin deficiency, a problem with your immune system, or even a food allergy could be contributing to the sores.
Can A Recurrent Mouth Ulcer Be Cancer
Some mouth ulcers can happen because of mouth cancer. Therefore, it is very important to recognize it as soon as it is discovered.
Usually, a cancerous ulcer does not come and go. Most of the time, a cancerous ulcer presents as a persistent ulcer that does not heal for a long time.
The golden rule to follow is this: an ulcer that does not heal for more than 2 weeks should raise our concern. In this case, a cancerous ulcer should be considered especially when there is a positive history of smoking or betel chewing.
The above does not mean that a non-healing ulcer must be a cancer. Ulcer due to injury can last as long as the injury is there . A tuberculous ulcer may exist until the tuberculous bacteria are eliminated.
When should I see a dentist soon for a mouth ulcer?
â the ulcer is not healing for more than 2 weeks
â the ulcer is causing much discomfort
â the current size is much bigger than what it was before
â the occurrence is getting more frequent
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When Should I See My Doctor
You should see your GP if you think you might have an ulcer related to a mouth infection or disease.
Most mouth ulcers will heal by themselves within a week or two. If your mouth ulcers last longer than this or they keep coming back, see your doctor, as they may be a sign of a more serious problem.
Also, see your GP if you or your child develops severe mouth ulcers with symptoms of general illness such as:
- weight loss, stomach pain, unexplained fevers
This may indicate a health condition such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
Triggers For Cold Sores
In some people the HSV infection causes cold sores, which erupt following a trigger event such as a cold. This explains the term cold sore. Other triggers that may cause an attack of cold sores include:
- feverish illnesses, like influenza, or chest infections
- hormonal changes, such as the menstrual period
- emotional or physical stress.
It is important to remember that cold sores are a symptom of ongoing infection rather than a new infection. The sores usually recur in the same place.
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How Can I Prevent Mouth Ulcers
While you cant prevent mouth ulcers altogether, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. For example:
- Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily for optimal oral health.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid tissue irritation.
- Eat a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
If your healthcare provider determines that your mouth ulcers are connected to an underlying health issue, managing your condition can reduce the risk of ulcers returning.
How To Cure Mouth Ulcers Fast Naturally
You may experience some mouth ulcers feeling run down. It is usually due to the severe pain that is associated with it. In such a case, you may want immediate relief. If you are using a treatment that is not showing quick results and now wondering how to Cure Mouth Ulcers fast Naturally? Well, here we list five easy ways to cure mouth ulcers fast. This list will help you to try out a remedy that provides quick relief.
- Apply black tea
- Saltwater mouth wash
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Actions For This Page
- Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease .
- Ulcerative colitis is located only in a persons large bowel .
- Diet and food allergies do not cause IBD.
- Medications help manage the symptoms of IBD.
- People with IBD can lead useful and productive lives.
- Some dietary changes can help you manage symptoms of IBD and allow medications to work better.
- Always talk with your doctor, healthcare specialist or dietitian before changing your diet. Arrange an emergency plan of action with your doctor, including after-hours phone numbers.
How To Treat Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers dont usually need to be treated, because they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two.
However, treatment can help to reduce swelling and ease any discomfort. This may help if you keep getting mouth ulcers or your mouth ulcer affects eating and drinking.
Things you can do to speed up healing include:
- applying a protective paste recommended by your pharmacist
- using a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth
- using a toothpaste that doesnt contain sodium lauryl sulphate, as this may be irritating
- avoiding hard, spicy, salty, acidic or hot food and drink until the ulcer heals
- using a straw to drink cool drinks
- avoiding things that may be triggering your mouth ulcers see causes, below
You can get several types of mouth ulcer treatment from a pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist about the best treatment for you. Options include the following:
Medicines from your dentist or GP
If necessary, you may be prescribed a course of stronger corticosteroids to help reduce pain and swelling, and speed up healing.
Corticosteroids are available on prescription as tablets, mouthwash, paste or spray, but are not suitable for children under 12.
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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.
Treatment For Cold Sores
Cold sores are generally not dangerous and do not cause any permanent damage to the skin. Treatment does not cure the infection and is not necessary for most cases. Avoid picking the scab or breaking blisters as this can cause secondary infection with bacteria, or scarring. Creams to treat the symptoms can be soothing, as can ice on the blisters. Simple painkillers may occasionally be required. Povidone-iodine ointments can be dabbed onto the cold sores and may reduce symptoms in some people.Antiviral medications come in many forms, including creams and tablets. Medications such as aciclovir and famciclovir shorten the duration of the cold sore by reducing the ability of the virus to reproduce. Aciclovir cream works best when applied to the blister at the earliest stages of cold sore development, when the area is tingling. However, not everyone experiences warning signs of an impending cold sore.
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Complications Caused By Nutritional Deficiencies
Some of the complications of malnutrition include:
- Dehydration diarrhoea causes your body to lose fluid, which can lead to dehydration. Severe dehydration can damage your kidneys.
- Anaemia reduced iron in the diet combined with losing blood from the bowel can lead to anaemia .
- Weight loss reduced appetite and poor absorption of food nutrients can cause weight loss.
- Reduced growth inadequate nutrition during childhood and adolescence can impair a childs growth and physical development.
When To See A Doctor Or Dentist
See a doctor or dentist about your mouth ulcers if you develop any of the following:
- unusually large mouth ulcers
A cold sore is another common type of oral lesion. Although mouth ulcers and cold sores share some causes and symptoms, its usually easy to tell the two apart.
Mouth ulcers only appear inside the mouth.
Although cold sores can appear inside the mouth, they mainly appear right above, below, or on your lips. They may also spread to the nose or chin. Cold sores are also fluid-filled, making them a type of blister.
Most mouth ulcers are not contagious. Cold sores are typically caused by the herpes virus and are always contagious.
Cold sores are also more likely to cause additional symptoms beyond the lesions, including:
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What Are Canker Sores
Canker sores are small open ulcers that show up in your mouth, typically inside the lip or cheek. Theyre white or yellow in color and are often surrounded by red, inflamed tissue.
These painful sores are among the most common oral conditions, and they affect almost half of all people. There are actually three main types of canker sore:
- Minor aphthous stomatitis, which is the most common type, are small ulcers that heal within a week.
- Major aphthous stomatitis, which is a more severe type, are larger and more painful. They heal within two weeks and often leave scars.
- Herpetiform aphthous stomatitis, which occurs in less than 5% of people who have canker sores, is a cluster of tiny sores.
In many cases, canker sores heal on their own and dont require any treatment. In some instances, however, they can point toward an underlying issue that may require medical treatment.
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.
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Defining Chronic Canker Sores
A chronic disease is defined as a condition that lasts more than one year and requires ongoing medical attention or limits your daily activities. Many chronic diseases disrupt and hinder your quality of life.
Youre probably familiar with chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, but not all chronic diseases are life-threatening. Even canker sores are considered chronic if they occur repeatedly and impact your daily life.