About mouth (Aphthous) ulcers:
Mouth ulcers are lesions or breaks in the delicate lining, also known as the mucosa, of the mouth. Their appearance and location, along with associated symptoms (for example fever) can assist in diagnosis. Causes can include accidental biting of the cheek, friction with a sharp or broken tooth, a burn from food, a side effect of certain drugs as well as a complication of certain systemic diseases.
On the other hand, the cause of Aphthous ulcers is unknown. These tiny off-white lesions can appear singly or in ‘crops’ on the gums, tongue or mouth lining. They affect around 20% of the population and tend to recur, especially during times of emotional stress or the menstrual cycle. They vary in size, usually only a few millimeters in diameter, and generally heal in one to two weeks.
How to treat/manage mouth ulcers
Treatments -and their effectiveness – vary, depending on the type and cause of ulcer. Most heal with a week or two with little or no intervention. However persistent or recurring lesions should be assessed for an underlying cause which, if found, may dictate particular treatment. In the meantime, you can help reduce the pain by:
Reducing your intake of citrus juices or fruit and other acidic foods
There are a few gels available from the chemist which have can offer an anesthetic effect. It is also advisable, despite the discomfort, to take care with your usual tooth brushing and oral hygiene, to help prevent the complication of bacterial infection.
If you are concerned about a painful sore in the mouth that isn’t healing after two weeks or reappears, it is recommended that you consult your medical or dental professional.