Mouth ulcers are never pleasant. They can flare up at any time and can often make things quite uncomfortable, but they needn’t be a cause for concern.
What are Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are little sores found on the tongue, lips, or inside of the cheeks that appear as if from nowhere and can make even a simple thing like eating dinner painful. The good news is that they won’t do you any harm and usually go away after one or two weeks.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers can be caused by a range of things. You might have braces or dentures that rub against the skin, or a dodgy filling that cuts your mouth. They can also appear after eating very hot food or from accidentally biting the inside of your mouth (don’t worry, we all do it!). If you keep getting mouth ulcers, it’s worth considering whether you’re particularly stressed or anxious and seeing whether they run in your family. Mouth ulcers aren’t contagious, so you can’t get them from kissing or from swigging from your friend’s drink.
What Do Mouth Ulcers Look Like?
Mouth ulcers are round or oval-shaped, and either red, yellow, grey or white. A mouth ulcer might also be slightly swollen. They’re different from cold sores, which are actually blisters in the mouth, but they can also be found around the mouth and on the lips. It’s also possible to have more than one ulcer at a time, but don’t worry, this is quite normal.
How Do I Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers?
It’s very common for mouth ulcers to go away on their own after one or two weeks, but in the meantime it’s good to have something to help ease the pain and irritation. You can choose from a range of gels or pastilles mouth ulcer treatments, that, used regularly, should help ease the symptoms and help you get on with your day hassle-free. Always visit your pharmacist if you are unsure about what product to use.
How Do I Prevent Myself from getting Mouth Ulcers in the Future?
It’s not possible to actually stop yourself from getting mouth ulcers, but you can definitely reduce the risk. Changing your dental products may stop irritation.
Try using a softer toothbrush and gentler approach when brushing your teeth, and make sure your toothpaste doesn’t have something called sodium lauryl sulphate in it. If you know you’re prone to ulcers, steer clear of chewing gum and certain food and drink - spicy, acidic, salty or hot foods are some of the things that exacerbate ulcers. It might also be wise to see your dentist more regularly to keep a better eye on your dental health.
When to Speak to your Superdrug Pharmacist or GP
In rare cases, mouth ulcers can be a symptom of something more serious. If you have a long-lasting ulcer along with the following risk factors, then speak to your Superdrug Pharmacist or pop in to see your GP:
- Smoking or using products that contain tobacco such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Drinking alcohol
- The HPV virus also known as genital warts