Causes of Mouth Ulcers and Mouth Ulcer Treatments
There are many possible causes for mouth ulcers (also called canker sores), and whilst some of these causes are avoidable, others are not. Discovering the potential cause for your condition may help you find the right mouth ulcer treatment for you. No one definitively knows what causes ulcerations in the mouth, but numerous studies have shown that there are several likely factors.
There is some evidence to suggest that regularly suffering from mouth ulcers is hereditary. Some women experience mouth ulcers during hormonal changes at times of menstruation (periods), pregnancy and / or menopause. Other unavoidable causes include certain medical conditions, including: Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, Beçhet’s disease, reactive arthritis, a weakened immune system, and various viral infections including HSV-1 (the cold sore virus), chicken pox, hand, foot and mouth disease.
If none of these factors apply to you, then it is likely your mouth ulcer has been caused by one of the following:
- damaging the inside of your mouth – this could happen accidentally during eating or talking, but could also be due to poorly-fitting dental or orthodontic work, overly aggressive teeth brushing, absent-mindedly chewing the inside of your cheek, inappropriate use of toothpicks or plastic flossing products;
- consuming certain foods – these include foods you may have a minor intolerance to, too much salty, acidic, or spicy food, and very hot food and drinks. Some correlation has been made between mouth ulcers and cheese, chocolate, strawberries, peanuts and almonds;
- vitamin deficiency – this is typically a number of B vitamins (including B9 and B12), vitamin C, and anaemia (iron deficiency).
In any of these cases, you may be able to reduce your risk of further mouth ulcers by adapting your behaviour and / or food intake.
Mouth ulcers do not normally require any medical treatment or intervention, and usually disappear after 7-14 days, but you may wish to treat the symptoms with a gel / liquid available from your local pharmacy or supermarket. Contact your dentist or GP if the ulcer doesn’t go away after more than 3 weeks or displays signs of growth / infection (becomes more painful and red; you develop a fever or keeps coming back).
Anbesol Adult Strength Gel, for mouth ulcer pain relief. Always read the label. Not for use in infant teething.
Understand what a mouth ulcer is and looks like, common causes and effective mouth ulcer treatments.