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  • Writer's pictureBramingham Dental

What you should do about mouth ulcers?

The mouth ulcer or canker sore, as it sometimes called is, not uncommon, so much so that there are over the counter treatment and TV adverts about them. But these can lead to them being normalised, with patients thinking that they are just something they have to put up with. But our dentist in Luton treats ulcers too.

Often occurring at times of stress, during a heavy workload or the build-up to exams or a wedding, they appear as pale, yellow shallow sores spreading out in small circles. They are more commonly seen on the inside of the lips but have been known to occur under the tongue and on the roof of the mouth. They sting when exposed to hot, cold and acidic beverages.

Most of the time they self-resolve within a week.

How did I get mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers are not contagious so you needn't worry about catching or spreading them. But some people seem genetically susceptible, with recurring mouth ulcers running in families. The bacteria which have formed the ulcer seem to be harmless mouth flora or commensal bacteria which have taken advantage of your reduced immune system or trauma to infect the lining of your mouth.

If your mouth ulcers keep coming back in the same places, you should try to explore the cause with our dentist in Luton as you may have a chipped or misaligned tooth cutting the inside of your mouth.

If recurring happens in different locations, this could also indicate an immune disorder or food intolerance and you should follow this up with your regular doctor.

I have continually had mouth ulcers for 10 days or more- what do I do?

If your ulcers are spreading or simply don't get any better for 10 days, then its time to see our dentists in Luton. If there are no other complications or treatments required, we will probably start with an oral steroid ointment that you will apply directly to the ulcers. This will stop the swelling and allow the ulcers to close up.

A mouth ulcer that has grown bigger than a 5p coin is a dental emergency and if you contact our clinic, we will try to give you a same-day appointment.

How to prevent mouth ulcers

If you have just recovered from an ulcer and don't want it to happen again or you're just taking precautions, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting mouth ulcers.

The location of the ulcers can be a guide to prevention; if they form on the inside of you cheek where the teeth meet, it could be due to chewing so avoid gum use and take care when eating. If they are on the inside of the lips and you are also experiencing receding gums, this is a sign you are brushing too hard so switch to a softer toothbrush. General oral hygiene can go a long way in making a break out of ulcers a rare occurrence.

This is just a general guide, so for more information or advice based on your case please feel free to contact the clinic.


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