How to cure mouth ulcers at home
Mouth ulcers are clearly defined round sores that appear inside and around the mouth. Although they can be painful, mouth ulcers are normally harmless and heal within 7 – 10 days. Luckily, mouth ulcers can be treated at home and rarely needs a visit to the dentist.
Ulcers have many causes. Common examples include:
- A poor reaction to toothpaste and mouthwash that contain sodium lauryl sulphate. Check your products to make sure they are free of this ingredient. If they are, discard them immediately.
- Sensitivity to foods including strawberries, pineapples and coffee.
- A vitamin deficiency, especially B-12, zinc, folate, and iron.
- A minor injury in the mouth, like from your braces or from brushing too hard.
- Repeated biting on the inside of your cheek.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, puberty and menopause.
- Stress or anxiety.
- As a side-effect of the medication you’re taking.
- A symptom of an illness like diabetes or celiac disease.
If you find yourself battling an annoying mouth ulcer, follow these steps to help support the healing process:
- Rinse your mouth regularly with warm salty water. To make the rinse, add half a teaspoon of saltwater to a cup of warm water. Gargle your mouth with the salty water for 10 seconds and spit it out.
- If, after a few days, your ulcer is not responding to the saltwater, you can switch to Corsodyl. Do not use it for longer than a week because it can stain the teeth.
- Continue your regular oral hygiene regime. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and flossing once a day.
- Avoid very acidic, spicy, or salty foods because they can worsen your ulcer. This includes most citrus fruits and takeaways.
- Stick to soft foods like mash, bread, and soup while your mouth ulcer heals.
- To deal with the pain, use a pain killer like paracetamol, or a benzydamine throat spray like Difflam.
If your ulcer lasts longer than 3 weeks, keeps coming back, or becomes infected, you need to see your dentist or doctor. However, because of COVID-19, Sloan Dental is only scheduling emergency procedures. If you are worried, please telephone us. Please don’t visit the practice without making an appointment.