Mouth ulcers. Ouch. Just saying the phrase can make your mouth hurt. Most people have experienced the pain of mouth ulcers at some point in their lives. That's due in part to the fact that there are so many different types of mouth ulcers and reasons that they might occur. For some people, it's just something that happens now and then and it gets written off as a cold sore that will go away on its own in a few days. For others, the very presence of a mouth ulcer gives them fears of cancer. While mouth ulcers can be caused by serious problems such as cancer (and of course, those cold sores could be a form of herpes) the fact of the matter is that most mouth ulcers aren't symptoms of a big health problem. Nevertheless, they can be painful so you probably want to treat them as quickly as possible and to prevent them from returning if you can.
You'll know that you have a mouth ulcer because it hurts. If you open your mouth and use a mirror to look inside, you'll also be able to see the ulcer there. It's basically an open soar that usually appears white. The area of the mouth surrounding the sore will usually be a darker red than the rest of the mouth. If you feel pain in your mouth but don't see this sore, you might be about to experience a mouth ulcer. Catching it at this stage can prevent the pain from getting out of control so you'll want to treat yourself immediately if you feel signs that a mouth sore is emerging.
So how do you treat a mouth sore? It depends a little bit on the cause of the mouth sore. For example, these are sometimes caused by damage to the mouth (such as biting down on your cheek) in which case the best treatment is to leave it alone and let it heal. For other mouth ulcers, you'll basically just want to be kind to your mouth until it heals. This means that you should make sure that your mouth stays clean by brushing your teeth and swishing regularly throughout the day. Use mild products such as a light salt water flush rather than strong products like minty mouthwash. You should also make sure that the foods you eat while you have a mouth sore are mild. Avoid spices and anything too hot or too cold. Finally, if the pain won't go away, you can purchase topical relief for the symptoms either over the counter or through a doctor's prescription.
You should also note that some people get mouth ulcers as a result of significant changes in their bodies or lives. In other words, if you lose a lot of weight at one time, undergo a major surgery or suffer serious stress, mouth ulcers might show up. If you recognize that these are the reasons that you're getting the mouth ulcers, do what you can to improve the health of your body. Try to de-stress, get enough rest and eat properly. Your body should go back to normal and the mouth ulcers will probably go away.
Treatment resolves the problem once it begins but of course you'll also want to engage in mouth ulcer prevention so that you don't have to deal with this problem again in the future. Prevention is difficult at the beginning because it requires that you identify what is causing the mouth ulcers to occur. Once you've determined that, you can simply avoid the cause of the mouth sore. For example, allergies are a common reason people get mouth ulcers. Consider the foods that you eat, the medications that you take and the toothpaste that you use. If you have recurring ulcers, one of these could be the reason and stopping their use can stop the problem. Recurring ulcers may also be a sign that you're body's deficient in something (such as Vitamin C) which means you'll need to get what you need on a regular basis. It can also be hormonal so if you're not finding the problem, keep a diary about the ulcers to determine if this could be the cause.
If you can't find the cause of your mouth ulcers on your own, you may want to go to a doctor. Let him or her know what you've ruled out. Then he/she can check for additional causes such as immune problems in the body, oral cancer and bacterial or viral infections. Chances are that you don't have one of these problems but you might so get it checked out. The doctor can then treat the underlying problem and prevent the mouth ulcers from showing up as a symptom of that problem. Once you've treated the problem that causes the mouth ulcers, you probably won't see them turn up again. If they do, you should immediately note any changes to your diet or medication to see if this is the cause.
Finally, you will want to make sure that you engage in normal healthy oral hygiene to further prevent mouth ulcers from forming. This means that you should brush your teeth twice daily. It also means that you should limit your sugar intake and flush your mouth out with water when you've eaten sugars or spicy foods. Floss your teeth as recommended by your dentist. Follow up with a good mouthwash or rinse your mouth out with clean water to make sure that you've left no residue behind.
The main reason that you'll want to follow these treatment and prevention methods for taking care of mouth ulcers is, of course, because you want to rid yourself of what's causing you pain. You might also want to get rid of them because they can be unsightly if they are in an area that can be seen by others when you speak to them. However, there's also a good health reason to treat and prevent mouth ulcers. Oral ulcers can become infected if untreated. This will lead to additional health problems at worst or make the ulcers stick around longer at best. By treating and preventing the problem, you avoid these risks.
Shakti on January 20, 2013:
I like to share my experience here. I also have mouth ulcer sometimes. the reason i think is gastric and indigestion. when i feel something wrong in my stomach or have gastric, I have mouth ulcer. If i stayl ong time in air conditioning room until I feel cool, I sure have gastric and I have mouth ulcer next day.
Billie Kelpin from Newport Beach on January 11, 2013:
great article with very helpful comments! I had a tooth repaired about 7 years ago and am convinced there was something in that compound of repair mixture that has caused a problem for me off and on all these years. I do notice that if I RESTRICT my DIET COKE drinking to one a day (I'm an addict), the irritation seems to go away. Also a Vitamin B12 lozenge seems to help. Of course, I have to limit my other addictions (my love affair with pineapple, all kinds of berries, tomato sauce, and all foods acidic) Greek yogurt seems to alleviate some irritation, and the mouth wash I recently got from the dentist seems to help almost immediately: "Tooth and Gums Tonic" by the Dental Herb Company. However, the effect goes away if you continue with acidic foods and diet coke, so a total approach seems to be the answer. Also, plenty of rest seems to help :) -Again, this is a very helpful article!
shohidul islam on June 29, 2012:
Iam shohidul Islam. I am suffering for mouth ulcer long days. I am taking more treatment for mouth ulcer but not getting any result. always it give me pain. pls reply me very soon. which way I free from mouth ulcer.
Ghulam Mustafa on April 23, 2012:
My name is Ghulam Mustafa. My problem is mouth blisters . how can i treatment in this matter kindly recommended me a medicine. thanks
Rakesh Bajaj on January 11, 2012:
I was suffering from mouth ulcers for the last thirty years. I tried Allopathic,Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic treatment but of no avail.By taking naturopathic treatment I am fully cured in one month . I have cured many persons.To know more pl contact at my emailID: email@example.com
seomarketing30day on August 26, 2011:
thanks for sharing. I just printed our your lens and will follow some of your advice.
1 week ago I had Mouth ulcers. My solution was:
- Drink lots of water
- Have good sleep
- Lots of food
- Eat less fried food or not at all
Komala on August 16, 2011:
even m getting the mouth ulcers recurrently...since 4 yrs..m fed up of those now..even good doctors are not able to sort out the problem,once in the beginning i hd consulted doctor they referred me folic acid tablet for 1 month continuously, for next 2 months it stopped, again from 3rd month it started regularly,one week before my menstrual the mouth ulcer starts, immediately i consume the tablet to avoid further pain,( i hv digestion problem since from then, gastric problem) pls help me out of this, pls email me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
hemant on June 22, 2011:
even m getting the mouth ulcers recurringly...since 6 yrs..m fed up of those now..even good doctors are not able to sort out the root cause..what should i do..please help me out n cal me on 09975614826
Tinnitus Help on June 21, 2011:
Thanks for the info. I will share your hub on my blog for others. Keep up the good info
Meagan Elaine on June 15, 2011:
Always great infor thanks... here's a link for using salt for mouth troubles and much more.. thanks for sharing. http://healthmad.com/conditions-and-diseases/top-w...
melissa on May 28, 2011:
is there any walgreens or cvs medicines that i could take i wonder? thoose hurt very much!
electricsky from North Georgia on April 22, 2011:
Very good information. Thank you.
Fosamax Lawyer on April 08, 2011:
@dentist highland park - I also experienced mouth ulcer on my first time wearing my braces. But my doctor give me a medicine on it.
i4u on April 02, 2011:
A handful of superb information. Mouth ulcers are painful and with all your tips it won't leave a scar too. Wonderful writing. I enjoyed reading it as it has just that flow needed in it.
nancypolaska from Oxford Road on February 24, 2011:
mouth ulcers are very irritating and annoying. you have mentioned smart ways to tackle them.
Brian from Northern Michigan Reed City on January 18, 2011:
I have a problem with this on occasion, and the darn things usually form on the same side of my mouth every time. I seem to get them a lot whenever I eat Cottage Cheese, but, I love cottage cheese not about to give it up.
Also, I was recently in the ER with a sore jaw, and that caused a bunch of those little monsters to form. I just finished a round of antibiotics and they all vanished. But, I still have the pain in my jaw. I've been told that I need to go to the dentists, as I might have a bad tooth. Hurray! More fun for me!
dentist Highland Park on January 16, 2011:
We can also get canker sores from braces. It is truly painful especially if it's your first time to wear them. But there are cases that canker sores suddenly come out. To avoid having this in the future, better drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits which are rich in vitamins. Usually, dentists and doctors advise their patients to eat healthy foods because they are good protectors of our bodies against bad ailments.
SJK on October 10, 2010:
I used to get mouth ulcers very regularly when I was young. However, when I foolishly started smoking they stopped and I never had one again. I have recently given up smoking and the mouth ulcers are back again. Has this happened to anyone else and is there a better way to stop them other than starting smoking again?
Anil kumar on September 30, 2010:
good morning,I am suffering with mouth ulcers from 6 years,nearly 5 times.Wounds formned in my whole mouth including trought.Pus will also formed from that & not cure atlest 1 month.Please if you have any solution i.e. to which doctor I have to consult email me at email@example.com....plase help me.I am very thakfull to you.
miku from USA on September 19, 2010:
Thanks for wonderful hub. Its really help me
ankigarg87 on August 25, 2010:
Very good.My friend you write a very nice hub
kingdude4ever from Lahore on August 18, 2010:
Lizzie on July 21, 2010:
Very helpful ! I had a tooth surgically extracted last week. I am still in pain, due to a mouth ulcer I think. I just hope it will not get infected ...
m920621m on June 10, 2010:
Great work !
If you want some additional info, follow this
wade11hicks on June 07, 2010:
Is vitamin b the only type of vitamins i can take to avoid ulcers. I've also heard there's types of foods that make your ulcers worse, is this true? I've been having these problems and I just want to do things that can help me.
snehal on May 10, 2010:
ya ..dats true..take vitamin b complex especially B12..take cetrizine for any allergic raction..stop sour foods n drinks..take medicine for acidity if u have..n check it out if der is something on ur teeth dat can hurt ur toungue or mucosa..n dont take tension..its also one cause of ulcers
NoOne on May 01, 2010:
Good advise, but listing common nutrision deficiencies that can cause mouth ulcers, and foods to help prevent that particular cause would be good.
I sepearte my meals and drinks to avoid bloating. Waiting half an hour after drinking to eat, and two hours after eating to drink. These does leave food residue in my mouth. I will try washing my mouth out with saltwater and then spitting it out. Mybe that will help in my case, and pay attention to all the above listed possibilities.
Kasvi on April 28, 2010:
thnanks for the information it really helped because i have mouth ulcers and they really kill but its getting a lot better now!
Dental Nurse Jobs on March 29, 2010:
Another great dental health article, my god can't month ulcers be sore!
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on November 11, 2009:
I agree mouth ulcers are very sore. I have found that for me eating yogurt every day has solved the problem. Also I keep an eye on my general well being. As soon as I feel stressed I know they are going to appear and I up my mouth hygiene and the yogurt. This way I have been able to avoid having them for years now, where I used to have mouth ulcers just about ALL the time!
ciidoctor on August 28, 2009:
Great knowledge for good hub
Kesh on August 18, 2009:
Nice Information.... Thanks
Hope on December 11, 2008:
Use perscription strength acyclovir or valtrex daily, it works great and has been a real miracle cure for me!
garmentmerchant from www.Garmentmerchant.com on September 14, 2008:
Thanks for the tips I have one right now that is excrutiatingly painfully, so bad its given me a headache the past 2 days
Lela Davidson from Bentonville, Arkansas on December 19, 2007:
I just learned about L-Lysine last year. it's an over the counter vitamin/supplement that my doctor suggested. It doesn't work for everyone but for me it is a godsend. For the kids, I crush a tablet and give with a spoonful of honey. Works like a charm!
len7288 on December 06, 2007:
I always use extra virgin olive oil whenever I developed mouth ulcer and whenever my gum hurts, it always solve the problem the next day. After cleaning your mouth just gargle 1tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, do it atleast 3x a day until everything is back to normal… You can also check the my article about the Anti-inflammatory effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. https://hubpages.com/hub/Extra_Virgin_Olive_Oil_Ex...
soyelude from Lagos - Nigeria on December 04, 2007:
Educative hubs don't get better than this.Great job Kathryn.
Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on December 04, 2007:
MrMarmalade from Sydney on December 03, 2007:
Great knowledge for good hub
Kate Swanson from Sydney on December 03, 2007:
Wow that was quick! Thanks. I wrote a Hub on cold sores and got a question about mouth ulcers - which I had no idea about. Now I can direct them here for the answer!