Mouth ulcers are very common, but can be very annoying. The shallow sore may clear up in a day or linger, causing pain for weeks, depends on the type of ulcer it is.
Most mouth ulcers are caused by some kind of trauma in your mouth – biting your tongue or lip, the rubbing of braces or sharp food. These ulcers usually do not last long.
When the hard surfaces of braces or wires rub against the inside of your mouth they can cause mouth ulcers. The frontline defense against this is to place orthodontic wax over the object that is causing the rubbing.
Another type of mouth ulcer, known as recurrent or apthous mouth ulcers, can last a lot longer, and then, after healing, reappear in a different spot. Between 10 and 20% of people will experience them, usually between 10 and 30 years of age. These ulcers are often smaller (1-2mm) but may last two weeks. Stress, poor nutrition or ill-health are sometimes associated with these ulcers, but the actual cause is thought to be a local immune reaction, when the immune system responds to something in that small section of skin in your mouth.
We do not really know why these form, but being sick, stressed or having poor nutrition will make them more likely to occur.
Treatment of ulcers is usually limited to pain relief in the form of steroid cream, paracetamol or antiseptic gel.
There is some inconclusive evidence of a link between recurrent ulcers and deficiencies in micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, folic acid and iron.
To learn more mouth ulcers and how they can be treated, call our Brisbane clinics anytime for a more detailed discussion.