Mouth ulcers can cause a lot of trouble. From having trouble eating and drinking to speaking, it can make your life miserable. Also, known as mouth sores and canker sores, these can be a pain. You can treat them easily, but before that, getting to know the causes of mouth ulcers can help you deal with the problem in a better way.
To find out what causes mouth ulcers, HealthShots spoke to Dr Sheetal Radia, Consultant Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Oncosurgery, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai.
If you are suffering from mouth ulcers, here’s what causes them:
1. Biting the inside of your cheek: This can lead to a painful ulcer in the mouth.
2. Poorly fitting dentures, braces: This can raise the chances of mouth ulcers
3. Stress: Stress is another cause of mouth ulcers because chronic stress is known to weaken the immune system and a weak immune system can lead to mouth ulcers.
4. Wrong toothpaste: Gum damage owing to a toothbrush or using the wrong toothpaste can cause mouth ulcers
5. Radiotherapy: Also, radiotherapy for treating cancer also leads to mouth ulcers, and also fungal infection leads to mouth ulcers
Can recurring mouth ulcers be a sign of any underlying diseases?
1. Poor gut health
Your gut health can directly impact your oral health. So, if your mouth ulcers are red and inflamed, it can indicate digestion issues.
2. Weak immunity
When the immune system is weak, it can result in mouth ulcers. To keep your immune system strong, follow a healthy diet and try to reduce stress levels.
3. Nutritional deficiencies
If you are deficient in iron and vitamin B, you may experience mouth ulcers and they can be really painful.
“Moreover, hormonal changes during pregnancy, genes, certain medications, quitting smoking, hand, foot, and mouth disease, Crohn’s disease, and a weak immune system due to HIV can invite mouth ulcers,” says Dr Radia. You will have to be careful and seek immediate treatment if the ulcers are causing a problem in eating or swallowing food.
Give these home remedies a try to get rid of mouth ulcers, according to Dr Radia:
1. Soft foods: If you have mouth ulcers, choose soft foods and avoid the hard ones.
2. Regular check-ups: Don’t forget to go for regular dental check-ups.
3. Diet: Try to eat a well-balanced diet and avoid spicy, salty, acidic foods that can further aggravate the problem.
4. Drink orange juice: It is loaded with vitamin C and can help to prevent mouth ulcers.
5. Honey and coconut oil: Apply honey or coconut oil to the ulcers. Both of them have antimicrobial properties that help to reduce ulcers.
6. Gargle: Gargle with betadine can be used in case of ulceration.
7. Cabbage juice: Cabbage juice has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to tackle mouth ulcers.
Also, read: 5 causes of cold sores on your mouth
8. Soft toothbrush: Use a good soft-bristled toothbrush because a hard one can lead to ulcers.
9. Maintain hygiene: Regular clean up of teeth and proper fitting of dentures are important to avoid ulcers.
10. Turmeric powder: Add some water to turmeric powder, make a thick paste and apply it to the ulcers. This is so because turmeric has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that reduce pain and inflammation.
Also, keep these things in mind to get rid of mouth ulcers:
* Treatment of iron and vitamin deficiency can help to heal mouth ulcers.
* Acidity and reflux can also lead to mouth ulcers, so treating acidity is really important.
* Use a straw while having a cold drink.
“If any ulcer is chronically non-healing for a longer period of time, it requires medical attention as it requires a biopsy to rule out cancer, because chronic non-healing ulcer could be either an autoimmune disorder or could be cancer. So do a biopsy and treat accordingly,” said Dr Radia.