What You Should Know About Mouth Ulcers

open mouth photo
Photo by CarbonNYC [in SF!]
We’ve all had them: those little bitty sore-spots in our mouths that make normal, every-day things like eating, drinking, and brushing our teeth an absolute pain. Called Mouth Ulcers, these small but painful spots in our mouth can be a day-ruiner. But what are they, and what can we do about them?

Mouth ulcers–or, irritated spots in the soft tissue of our mouths–are a symptom of any number of issues. Though we’re still not concretely sure what causes mouth ulcers, there are a number of different ways that these ulcers form, from physical injury, to dietary issues– even something like quitting smoking may cause ulcers.

What can we learn about mouth ulcers?

If we take a look at the similarities between mouth ulcers, a couple of things become clear. One, no matter what the root cause of mouth ulcers is, they stem from tissue damage that has been inflamed. And if we keep that in mind, then there are a few things we can to do treat or prevent them!

First, make sure to keep your mouth clean–one of the ways that ulcers can get worse is through irritation from bacterial infection. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash is a good first step for treating recurring ulcers, though make sure to check with your dentist to ensure that this is the best course of action.

Second, make sure you’re protecting your mouth physically. This means softer foods, being on the lookout for ill-fitting dental apparatuses, and avoiding food high in acid, salt, or spices. Anything that can begin the process of damaging your mouth has the potential to become a mouth ulcer. Look for a deeper red spot that is capped by a grey or yellowish spot, and pay attention to how long it hangs around.

When should I be worried about mouth ulcers?

Most mouth ulcers should last around two to three weeks. If a mouth ulcer shows no signs of improvement after that point, it’s important to talk to your doctor or dental health professional to make sure your mouth is healthy. Though not harmful on their own, mouth ulcers and other inner-mouth lesions could possibly be a sign of a bigger issue that may need attention down the line.

If you find yourself with mouth ulcers that come from starting a new medication, mouth ulcers that come with a fever, if they’re big or painful and last for more than three weeks, make sure to talk to your doctor. It’s possible that a mouth ulcer that fits that category may be an indication of certain types of cancer.

If you’re worried about an ulcer you may have, then check it out! Until you can make it in, stay away from chewing gum, and avoid using toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate. Make an appointment with us today if you’re in the Austin, TX area. Peace of mind is worth the visit to our office!

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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