What are mouth ulcers?
Ulcers are painful sores that appear inside the mouth. They are usually red or yellow. They are different from cold sores, which appear on the outer lips and are caused by a virus.
Usually a single mouth ulcer is due to damage caused by biting the cheek or tongue, or by sharp teeth, brushing or poorly fitting dentures. These ulcers are called ‘traumatic' ulcers.
If you have a number of mouth ulcers, and they keep coming back, this is called ‘recurrent aphthous stomatitis'.
When to see your pharmacist, dentist or GP?
Mouth ulcers can be painful, which can make it uncomfortable to eat, drink or brush your teeth. See your dentist if:
- your mouth ulcer has lasted three weeks
- you keep getting mouth ulcers
- your mouth ulcer becomes more painful or red which could be a sign of a bacterial infection.
Mouth ulcers are also a possible symptom of a viral infection that mainly affects young children, called hand, foot and mouth disease.
How to treat mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers don’t usually need to be treated, because they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two. However, treatment can help to reduce swelling and ease any discomfort. This may help if you keep getting mouth ulcers or your mouth ulcer affects eating and drinking.
Things you can do to speed up healing include:
1. Gargle alternatively with a glass of cold water and a glass of lukewarm water.
2. Coconut milk is an excellent remedy. You should extract the milk by grating fresh coconut, and gargle for 3-5 times daily.
3. In a cup of water, add 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds and boil. Gargle while it is still a bit warm, 3-4 times daily.
4. Aloe Vera provides efficient effects in this case. You should take 2 tablespoons of aloe Vera gel 3 times a day.
5. You can prepare a salt water mouthwash by dissolving ½ teaspoon salt in one cup of water. Swish it for half an hour, and spit it out. Moreover, for even better results, use this solution to gargle.
6. Eat raw tomatoes whenever you suffer from mouth ulcers, or you can gargle with tomato juice 3-4 times on a daily basis.
7. Mix a teaspoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to prepare a paste, and rub it on the painful spot.
Sources: Web MD, Top 10 Home Remedies