• Shruti GOCHHWAL

How and Why Do Those Painful Ulcers Form?

Several areas in your mouth like lips, inner cheeks, and tongue are prone to infections and developing various oral health conditions. It may cause much discomfort since these parts of your oral cavity anatomy help you perform many day-to-day functions. Any trouble in their work can cause problems in activities like speaking, chewing, eating, and even smiling.

One of the painful conditions commonly associated with your oral cavity anatomy is an ulcer or a canker sore. An ulcer can occur anywhere. Apart from one in mouth, you can develop a throat ulcer and a stomach ulcer also. You may wonder about the cause behind your painful ulcers and actively seek a solution like an over the counter mouth ulcer gel for it. But if these painful wounds repeatedly strike you, it’s time to analyze your lifestyle and seek help.

What Causes Painful Ulcers?

Ulcers occur due to a variety of reasons. Some of the common causes are listed below.

  1. Reaction to a medical drug

  2. Accidentally biting the inner cheeks

  3. Neglecting oral hygiene

  4. Anxiety and stress

  5. Viral infections

  6. Burns due to consuming hot or spicy food

  7. Mouth cancer as malignant or premalignant lesions of oral cavity anatomy

  8. Hormonal changes

  9. Continued rubbing against braces and dentures

  10. Conditions like cold sore, anaemia, folate deficiency, oral thrush

  11. Habits like chewing tobacco, smoking, etc.

Different Kinds of Ulcers

Ulcer, mouth, oral health

A mouth ulcer, Credit: Pixabay


The painful ulcers that you may suffer from can fall into one or the other category mentioned below.

  1. Canker sores, occurring as white patches with red borders, are non-contagious and self-healing.

  2. Cold sores, occurring as a group of red blisters on the lips, are highly contagious but also self-healing.

  3. Candidiasis, a yeast infection in the mouth, it requires medical attention

  4. Leukoplakia, occurring as white patches anywhere in the mouth, require immediate medical attention.

Are Ulcers Dangerous?

Ulcer, health, mouth

A mouth ulcer, Credit: Pixabay


Mouth ulcers are mostly harmless. They usually heal  in a span of a week or a little more.  But if the ulcers are hindering you to perform your daily activities to a great extent, then it’s wise to consult an oral health specialist. The ulcers can sometimes make it difficult to breathe, talk, and swallow. They can also become blisters.

Mouth ulcers, however, should not be completely ignored. If you find that you’re not able to relieve them even after a week or two, it is time to take some preventive action. Consider it a warning when you experience the following symptoms:

  1. Skin rashes

  2. Pain in the joints

  3. Constant fever

  4. Diarrhea

  5. Repeated occurrence of ulcers

  6. The ulcer is very big

  7. Ulcers that don’t heal, but spread further

How Can You Treat Painful Ulcers?

Mouthwash, bottle, medical

Bottles of mouthwash, Credit: Pixabay


Many kinds of ulcers do not require any specific treatment. They can be effectively treated by the following actions.

  1. Drink adequate water

  2. Apply an antiseptic mouth ulcer gel

  3. Use a medicated mouthwash

  4. Avoid or limit the intake of spicy and sour food

  5. For severe pain, use a paracetamol

  6. Practice good oral hygiene

  7. Salt water gargles

  8. Avoid the use of tobacco

  9. Drink chamomile tea

How Can You Prevent Mouth Ulcers?

Brush, teeth, mouth, health

Family brushing teeth, Credit: Pixabay


You cannot control all the causes that lead to the development of ulcers in your mouth. But you can try to prevent their occurrence and reduce their severity with the following measures.

  1. Consume a healthy and well-balanced diet

  2. Limit the consumption of acidic and spicy food

  3. Take proper care of your braces if you use them

  4. Do not brush your teeth vigorously

  5. Try to maintain a stress-free lifestyle

  6. Take adequate rest in the form of sleep

On the whole, ulcers are not something to worry about. Although they may look and feel terrible, they usually heal themselves over a short time. Only some severe cases, when they are accompanied by symptoms in other parts of the body, should be considered as a serious health concern.

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