Mouth ulcers are a common complaint which affects people of all ages across Australia. While you can use over the counter medication to help to combat your mouth ulcers, if they are particularly painful, you may wish to visit your dentist for further treatment, especially if the mouth ulcers keep reoccurring. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about mouth ulcers.
What is a mouth ulcer?
Mouth ulcers are caused when the thin and sensitive skin which lines the inside of your mouth suffers trauma or erosion. A mouth ulcer is normally an open sore which is a dark shade of red.
Mouth ulcers most commonly form on the tongue, inner lip and cheek. The sores are round in shape and can cause pain when food or drink comes into contact with them. This can create difficulties when eating and drinking.
What are the causes of mouth ulcers?
The causes of mouth ulcers include:
- Accidental biting of the cheek or tongue
- Irritation caused by a misaligned tooth
- Irritation caused by badly fitting dentures
- Poor oral hygiene
- Other medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and auto-immune disease
What are the treatment options for mouth ulcers?
Treating mouth ulcers at home
You can treat mouth ulcers at home by using over the counter medication, such as antimicrobial mouthwash and corticosteroid lozenges, which can help to stop pain and speed up healing, or by improving your oral hygiene routine.
Treating mouth ulcers at the dentist office
If home treatment does not successfully resolve your problems with mouth ulcers, it may be time to contact your dentist and book an appointment. Your dentist will carry out an assessment of your oral health to determine the cause of the ulcers before suggesting the best course of treatment. Depending on the cause of your mouth ulcers, you dentist may:
- Smooth down any sharp teeth
- Reshape your dentures so they are a better fit
- Suggest improvements you can make to your oral hygiene routine
- Refer you to another medical professional if they suspect another disease is responsible for your mouth ulcers.
- Offer a prescription gel to help the ulcers to heal and to reduce your pain levels.
If you have any concerns about mouth ulcers or any other aspect of your dental health you should contact a dentist today They will be able to assess your dental health and provide any necessary treatments.