Have you ever wondered what exactly is causing that annoying canker sore? We’ve got the answers to all of your mouth ulcer questions!
The tissue that lines the inside of your mouth (called the mucous membrane) is extremely delicate. When this tissue tears, it causes a mouth ulcer to form. These ulcers, or canker sores, are very sensitive and painful. On the plus side, despite being annoying to deal with, most mouth ulcers are harmless and go away within 10 days.
The most common cause for a mouth ulcer is due to injury. Biting the inside of your mouth or getting hit in the face typically leads to painful mouth ulcers. You could even cause a mouth ulcer by brushing too hard or letting your toothbrush slip and scrape the tissue in your mouth.
Misaligned teeth are also culprits of mouth ulcers. If your teeth are constantly grinding against a certain area, they’re rubbing away your mucous membrane and causing mouth ulcers to form. Constant rubbing from dentures and braces can also tear your membrane and lead to a canker sore.
If you don’t keep up with proper oral hygiene, you may be punished with a frustrating mouth ulcer. Thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash keeps your mucous membrane strong and less likely to tear.
- Oral cancer
- Autoimmune diseases
- Crohn’s disease
Other possible sources of your mouth ulcer may be burns from eating hot or spicy food, a reaction caused by medication, or a skin rash in your mouth.
- Painful sores on the skin around your mouth
- Swollen and tender skin around your sores
- Sharp pain when eating spicy, salty, or acidic foods
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty chewing and brushing teeth
The best way to treat a mouth ulcer is to avoid getting one to begin with! Ways that you can reduce your risk of a canker sore forming include:
- Brushing your teeth gently, especially around your gums
- Refraining from eating overly acidic and salty foods
- Taking your vitamins
- Visiting your dentist for regular checkups
If a mouth ulcer has already formed, most of the time you won’t need special treatment. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to speed up the recovery of a canker sore. However, there are ways that you can avoid irritating your mouth ulcer so you feel less pain.
- Apply topical cream (Orajel is a good example) to numb the area
- Stay hydrated
- Load up on fiber
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash
- Brush your teeth gently
- Spicy Food
- Tough Meats
- Salty Chips
If you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers, they are referred to as aphthous ulcers. These are multiple ulcers that are small, round, and reappear frequently. They commonly are first seen in children and teenagers. These ulcers appear in people who are otherwise healthy and are not the side effect of an underlying disease.
If you suffer from recurring ulcers, your dentist can help you manage them.