Effective Ways to Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers Naturally at Home
Today, I’m going to be talking about getting rid of mouth ulcers quickly and effectively and some steps you can take to prevent ulcers from developing in your mouth and on your tongue. This article is about mouth ulcers and canker sores – if you’re looking for advice about other types of ulcers. But first, look at what mouth ulcers are exactly and what causes them.
What Are Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers (also known as canker sores, oral ulcers and aphthous ulcers) are round or oval sores that develop in the mouth, usually on the inside of the cheeks or lips, the sides and tip of the tongue or underneath the tongue on the floor of the mouth (see picture). They are usually white, yellow or grey and can appear inflamed around the edge and can cause pain and discomfort to the sufferer, especially when eating.
Mouth ulcers are exceedingly common; almost everyone suffers from them at one time or another during their lifetime.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers usually develop when the tissue inside the mouth is broken. Typical methods of creating these abrasions include:
- Biting the inside of the mouth (accidentally and subconsciously)
- Consuming something too hot or too cold (ulcers caused by hot tea and coffee are very common)
- Consuming hard, sharp, acidic or spicy foods
- Brushing teeth too hard
- Poorly-fitted dentures or dental braces
Mouth ulcers can also form if the subject is particularly stressed or anxious or is undergoing hormonal changes (such as adolescence or menopause). There are several causes of mouth ulcers. However, you should realize that they are rarely caused by infection by bacteria or viruses.
Other types of ulcers, such as gastrointestinal ulcers (stomach ulcers and intestinal ulcers), can often be caused by bacteria, most notably the H. Pylori bacteria, but mouth ulcers are usually caused by abrasion of the tissue inside the mouth.
These abrasions or breaks in the skin can be caused by the following:
- Unintentional biting of the inside of the mouth and tongue
- Hot drinks
- Hard, sharp, very acidic or very spicy foods
- Ill-fitting dentures or braces
- Using an old toothbrush or brushing too harshly
Secondary causes include:
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- An underlying medical condition
So, the most critical step for getting rid of mouth ulcers is identifying which factors may contribute to the problem.
Although less common, it is also possible to get mouth ulcers from a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. However, most ulcers are not caused by an infection, so they are not contagious.
Underlying illnesses such as Anemia, Crohn’s Disease and HIV can make the sufferer more vulnerable to getting mouth ulcers. However, these types of ulcers are just secondary symptoms of the condition.
Smoking has also been known to increase the risk of mouth ulcers, although this is the concise term (around a week after quitting).
How To Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers
Most mouth ulcers will heal without treatment within a week or two and won’t leave any scarring. Sometimes an ulcer will be particularly stubborn and last a few weeks or even a month before healing fully.
If you have had a mouth ulcer for over three weeks, or it is tremendous and painful or looks an abnormal shape (not round or oval), you should visit your doctor for further advice. Also, speak to your doctor if you are suffering from recurring ulcers in and around your mouth.
Your doctor will be able to offer you treatments such as an antimicrobial mouthwash (which will kill bacteria and viruses in your mouth), corticosteroids (which reduce the inflammation of the ulcer) and painkillers (to ease the pain).
Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers
If you feel you don’t need to visit a doctor or cannot visit your doctor for whatever reason, there are several home remedies you can use to get rid of mouth ulcers.
- Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash can prevent the ulcer from becoming infected and speed up recovery times.
- Drinking mulberry juice or tomato juice is said to ease the pain of mouth ulcers and aid recovery.
- Baking soda and bicarbonate of soda can be made into a paste by adding a little water and applied to the mouth ulcer to help fast-track the healing process.
- Saltwater made from a teaspoon of salt added to a glass of water, which is then swilled around the mouth, can also help get rid of mouth ulcers.
Prevention of Mouth Ulcers
To prevent mouth ulcers from occurring in the first place, it is essential to establish exactly what caused them. If they were caused by biting the inside of your mouth, you would have to consciously stop doing it. Keeping a bag of boiled sweets handy can help keep your mouth occupied if you bite without realizing it.
Watch what you eat and drink. Try to avoid excessively acidic or spicy foods and foods that are particularly hard or sharp. Also, ensure you wait for food and beverages to cool a little before eating or drinking them. Ensure you don’t brush your teeth or floss too hard, as this can create an abrasion resulting in a mouth ulcer and if you wear dentures or a dental brace, ensure it has been fitted properly.