A mouth ulcer is a loss or erosion of the delicate lining tissue found on the inside of your mouth. Ulcers are commonly caused by minor injuries to the tissue, such as biting the inside of your cheek. They can be super painful, making it uncomfortable to eat, drink, speak, and brush your teeth.
Most of the time, they go away on their own without treatment within seven to ten days and don’t require a visit to the GP.
However, sometimes are recurrent and can last for longer, meaning treatment is needed – but this is easy to do at home.
Mouth ulcers shouldn’t be confused with cold sores, which are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth.
Taking over the counter painkillers will usually counteract the pain felt when you have a mouth ulcer.
As well as these, you can also use certain lozenges which can make your mouth feel a bit numb – these are best used before eating or drinking.
If the problem doesn’t go away, corticosteroids can be prescribed by your doctor.
These will come in either a pill, mouthwash, paste or spray.
How can I prevent mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers, unless there is a medical condition causing them, can be prevented in a number of ways.
Regular teeth brushing is paramount to good oral hygiene – but make sure you are using a brush with soft bristles and take when cleaning the inside of your mouth.
You can also avoid certain foods, such as spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, tomatoes and cheese, as these are known to contribute to mouth ulcers.