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22.02.2021 Health & Fitness

Mouth ulcers, symptoms and how to get rid of them

By Louisa Katimel Obodai
Mouth ulcers, symptoms and how to get rid of them
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Mouth ulcers also known as canker sores are normally small, painful lesions that develop in your mouth.

These sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and floor and roof of your mouth. You can even develop mouth sores on your oesophagus, the tube leading to your stomach.

Mouth ulcers can make eating, drinking, and talking uncomfortable.

Women, adolescents, and people with a family history of mouth ulcers are at higher risk for developing mouth ulcers.

Mouth ulcers aren’t contagious and usually go away within one to two weeks.


There is no definite cause behind mouth ulcers. However, certain factors and triggers have been identified. These include:

-minor mouth injury from dental work, hard brushing, sports injury, or accidental bite

- burns from eating hot foods

-toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate

-food sensitivities to acidic foods like strawberries, citrus, and pineapples, and other trigger foods like chocolate and coffee

- reactions to certain medications

-lack of essential vitamins, especially B-12, zinc, folate, and iron

-hormonal changes during menstruation

-emotional stress or lack of sleep

bacterial viral, or fungal infections


Most mouth ulcers don’t need treatment. However, if you get mouth ulcers often or they’re extremely painful, a number of treatments can decrease pain and healing time. These include:

-using rinse of saltwater and baking soda

-placing milk of magnesia on the mouth ulcer

-covering mouth ulcers with baking soda paste

-using over-the-counter benzocaine (topical anaesthetic) products

-applying ice to canker sores

-using a mouth rinse that contains a steroid to reduce pain and swelling

You can take steps to reduce the occurrence of mouth ulcers. Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth can be helpful. That includes acidic fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, oranges, or lemon, as well as nuts, chips, or anything spicy.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin.

Avoid using hard or bristle toothbrush.

Try to avoid talking whilst chewing food to reduce accidental bites. Reducing stress and maintaining good oral hygiene by using dental floss daily and brushing after meals also may help. Finally, get adequate sleep and rest. This will not only prevent mouth ulcers, but a host of other illnesses as well.

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