Learn about your teeth and gums and how to keep them healthy in "bite size" articles.This is going to make you Smile.. Healthy!!!

Oral Ulcers

Anyone who has had them, knows how extremely painful these tiny ulcers are.. Here is a review of the causes, types, and treatment for them ..

Oral ulcers are also called aphthous ulcers or canker sores.


  • Iron deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 and Folic acid Deficiency
  • Physical and mental stress
  • Injury by accidental biting of cheek, lips or tongue
  • Autoimmune reaction - the body usually produces antibodies to fight against the germs. When antibodies are produced against one's own tissue, ulceration occurs!!!
  • Hormonal causes - around the time of a woman's period, during puberty and menopause.

  • Minor aphthous ulcers - usually less than 2-3mm in diameter, extremely painful and usually persist for 7- 14 days .
  • Major aphthous ulcers - usually more than 10mm in diameter , intensely painful and may last upto 6 weeks
  • Herpetiform ulcers - Multiple tiny ulcers , sometimes even 100 in number simultaneously and yes, as painful as it sounds! They last in the mouth from one to three years.

Treatment Options

What you can do!

  • Salt water mouth rinses
  • Non - prescriptions gels and mouthwashes - that usually contain choline salicylate, benzocaine etc.. You can apply these every three or four hours.

What your dentist can do!

If the pain gets kinda very bad and you are unable to work, your dentist can prescribe

  • Steroid ointments
  • Anti- bacterial mouth washes
  • Anti-viral drugs
  • Prescription analgesics
  • Topical anaesthetic preparations
Do not try to use prescription drugs by yourself as they are not to be used by several types of patients and only your dentist will be able to ascertain which is best for you!!!

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