Mouth ulcers, medically known as canker sores, are small, painful, crater-like, shallow blisters that appear in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. Presence of canker sores causes problems in talking, eating and drinking. Generally, women, adolescents, and people with a family history of mouth ulcers are at a high risk of these ulcers.
Causes of Mouth Ulcers
Though no particular cause can be assigned to the appearance of canker sores, there are numerous potential reasons for it. These include:
- Small injuries caused by hard brushing, sports or dental injury, dental braces or accidental biting.
- Foods like caffeine or chocolate which make the body warm.
- Hormonal changes during periods.
- Fungal, viral or bacterial infections.
- Stress or lack of sleep.
- Allergic response.
- Vitamin deficiency, especially B12, folate, iron or zinc.
- Sensitivity to foods that are citrus or acidic in nature.
- Sensitivity to products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Certain drugs.
Canker sores might also be an indication of serious diseases such as oral cancer, gastrointestinal tract disease, autoimmune disorders or immune system weakness.
Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers
Canker sores can be quite painful. Though they do not need treatment as such, certain remedies can help ease the pain caused by mouth ulcers.
1) Chamomile Mouthwash
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the sore.
2) Basil Leaves
Basil has antiseptic properties which heal the sore and also refresh the mouth.
Since times immemorial, turmeric is known for its medicinal properties and honey also helps to soothe the sore.
4) Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotic yogurt or homemade yogurt has good bacteria which replenish the good bacteria of the mouth and help to cleanse the mouth. They also aid in digestion.
5) Zinc Lozenges
Often mouth ulcers are caused due to zinc deficiency and sucking on a zinc lozenge helps to replenish the zinc reserves of the body. They can also help to prevent ulcers.
This is probably the most common cure for a mouth ulcer. It soothes the skin and helps in healing.
Usually, mouth ulcers go away on their own in a couple of weeks. Yet, if the symptoms are severe or they persist for more than two weeks, one must seek medical advice.
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