Causes And Treatment Of Mouth Ulcers 


Mouth ulcers, also called canker sores are small and painful lesions that develop inside the mouth at the base of gums. These ulcers can make eating, talking, etc difficult for the sufferer. As per many experts in affordable and low income health clinics, adolescents, people with a family history of ulcers and women are at more risk for developing ulcers in the mouth. These ulcers are not contagious and usually heal in a week or two. But, if you are suffering from a canker sore that is very big or much painful, you need to visit an affordable health clinic in your locality and seek the help of a doctor. 

Causes Of Mouth Ulcers 

Not many definite causes of mouth ulcers are found, but some factors are identified, which include: 

  • Lack of vitamin B12, folate, zinc, and iron. 
  • Use of dental braces.
  • Hormonal changes during menstruation. 
  • Using mouthwashes containing sodium lauryl sulfate. 
  • Allergies. 
  • Stress and lack of proper sleep. 
  • Fungal, bacterial or viral infections. 

Mouth ulcers can also be an indicator of serious conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), etc. Also, malfunctions in the immune system of your body can make your body attack healthy mouth cells. 

Types Of Mouth Ulcers 

Mouth ulcers can be mainly classified into three types: minor, major, and herpetiform. Minor sores are small round or oval ulcers that usually heal within a week without leaving any scars, whereas, major mouth ulcers can be large and deep than minor ones. Major canker sores can have edges that are irregular and may take up to 6 weeks to heal completely. Herpetiform sores are pinpoint-sized and appear in groups. The groups can have 10 to 100 small sores and usually affect adults. 

Treatment Of Mouth Ulcers 

Most mouth ulcers do not need treatment. But, if you get ulcers often or when these ulcers are very painful, you can go for many treatment options that can help reduce pain and healing time. Some of the common treatment options include: 

  • Rinsing with baking soda and salt water. 
  • Covering ulcers with baking soda. 
  • Applying ice. 
  • Using steroid-containing mouthwash to control inflammation and pain. 
  • Applying ice to ulcers. 
  • Taking supplements like vitamin B6, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12. 
  • Using topical pastes on ulcers. 
  • Trying remedies like licorice root, chamomile tea, etc. 

If you suffer from mouth ulcers, your doctor will be able to diagnose the condition by examining the ulcers visually. Therefore, seek the advice of a doctor in an affordable health clinic if you suffer from frequent and serious mouth ulcers.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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