Have you ever accidentally bitten your lips while eating and then a few days later, develop mouth ulcers? Have you ever wondered : Why do we get mouth ulcers? They can be quite annoying, interfering with our eating and talking.
At this very moment, I have a small little ulcer in my mouth. In fact, I get it very often, like once in 2 months.
In this article, I will explain what mouth ulcers is; why we get them and how we can easily treat and recover quickly from mouth ulcers.
What is Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcer, or also called canker sores, is the erosion of the delicate lining of tissues in our internal sides of our mouths. It will start as a small round or oval lesion with yellowish edges. As it develops, it looks like exposed whitish sores, and is very sensitive and painful to the touch.
Who is more prone to getting mouth ulcers?
Anybody is equally prone to get mouth ulcers, it totally depends on the your circumstances that causes it.
Why do we get mouth ulcers?
Many simple actions can lead to getting ulcers.
1. Accidental knocks. For example, while brushing, you may accidentally push your toothbrush too hard against the inside of your mouth.
It will feel like a small tear, but everyday, you can feel it increasing in size. Then you would want to grab a mirror and try to get a view of it. Then you can feel down and it starts to hurt with every movement like eating or talking.
2. Due to Eating. While eating breakfast, you may chew too fast and bite on the inside of your lips. Or you may talk and eat, and bite yourself on your lips. There is a valid reason why our mummy told us not to eat and talk at the same time.
While out and about, or during a basketball game, we may knock against somebody in our face. As a result, the impact may cause mouth ulcers.
3. Wearing of dentures or braces. For the elderly who wear dentures, they could get mouth ulcers as their dentures constantly rub against their gums. Likewise for those who wear braces.
4. Heatiness. Sometimes mouth ulcers can be caused by the body being too “heaty”. According to the Chinese, internal heat is created when phlegm and dampness accumulate in the body. They think that mouth ulcers around the gums are caused by heat in the stomach. Sometimes, if I eat too much chocolate and chillies, it can cause heatiness in my body. Then I will start feeling a ulcer growing in my inner lip.
Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers
- Painful sores on part of the outer lip. Sometimes, these sores can grow as big as 8mm across.
- Swollen pinkish skin
How to treat Mouth Ulcers?
In most cases, mouth ulcers resolve by themselves. Leave them alone, drink lots of water and pray they get smaller and smaller until they are healed. However, it is not possible to speed up recovery of mouth ulcers. Patience and good rest will be the key to recovery.
1. Over-the-Counter Medicine. I use a Chinese Over-the-counter medicine, which is my favourite. It is called “Watermelon Frost” and it is so soothing. It is a cooling, dark green powder supposedly made from unique herbs, beneficial for clearing heat. When sprayed liberally over the sores, it speeds up closing of the sores, healing them rapidly. I usually apply every few hours and soon, I will feel the sore areas shrinking. This has been my best cure ever. Painless ever. At any one time, I will have at least 2 bottles in my medicine cupboard
You may wish to apply antiseptic gel to soothe the irritation. There are several gels available in the stores and one of those I have used is “Bonjela” in a blue tube. Alternatively, use a medicated mouth wash to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth during the healing period.
2. A Home Remedy. I have also tried a home remedy and using none other than good old salt. Salt has been known for anti-bacterial properties. Apply a pinch of salt directly to the mouth ulcer or gargle a salt solution. Yes you need guts for this.
As soon as a tiny pinch of salt lands on the sores, you can jump up and down in excruciating pain or your eyes will water. I am not exaggerating, but I can tell you, most of the time, my ulcers heal in double quick time.
After the stinging sensation, the salt disinfects and the sores seemed to have closed up and soon, the ulcers have reduced significantly. Frequently apply according to your comfort level. When my mouth ulcer feels numb, I will stop the treatment for a while to let the numbness subside.
3. Avoid deep fried, spicy and sour foods which may aggravate the hurting sores. Keep hydrated and let the immune system do its job. Keep your mouth clean. Get ample sleep and eat plenty of vegetables.
Ways to Prevent Mouth Ulcers
The only way to prevent getting mouth ulcers is to go slow while brushing and use deliberate strokes of the toothbrush. You can also use soft toothbrushes.
Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. If your mouth ulcers are caused by certain deficiencies such as iron, then you need to ensure you eat a well-balanced and all round diet.
When is Mouth Ulcers serious?
Certain medical conditions such as viral infection and the famous Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, could exhibit themselves as mouth ulcers. Others could be caused by infections and these would need topical treatment prescribed by doctors.
If you have mouth ulcers lasting more than 10 days, or if you get it frequently, do see your dentist or doctor. This is to rule out any serious medical conditions and perform additional tests.
Do you have a mouth ulcer story to share? How long was your longest episode of mouth ulcers? What was your treatment options? Share them in the Comments Box below. If you have any questions on mouth ulcers, please leave them in the box below too. I will be happy to hear how you conquer your mouth ulcers!