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Mouth Ulcers

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Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

When the mouth mucous membrane is eroded, it can lead to ulcers. The mucous membrane present in the mouth is made of delicate tissue lining inside the mouth. Loss of this membrane can result from chemicals, certain drugs, herpes and other infectious diseases like thrush. Mechanical injuries like sinking your teeth into your cheek accidentally form the majority of such cases.

Most cases of  mouth ulcers  pose minimal harm. They normally heal after a few days even without medication. Twenty percent of the general population get affected by aphthous ulcers. These are ulcers whose cause is still unknown and which have a tendency to recur.

Symptoms and Complications of Mouth Ulcers

The symptoms of  mouth ulcers depend on the underlying cause of the ulcer itself. The inside of the mouth may have spherical sores or a small painful sores that lead the ulcers. The skin around these sores may also get inflamed, creating the genesis for ulcer development.

Tenderness inside the mouth can also precipitate the formation of  mouth ulcers. Difficulty and pain while chewing food or brushing teeth is a symptom that can result from the initial tenderness. When taking spicy or salty foods, the sores and tongue ulcers in your mouth will experience irritation.

Another possible symptom of mouth ulcers is loss of appetite. This could be directly linked to the difficult or pain associated with taking meals. It could also arise from complications associated with the ulcers.

If left untreated  mouth ulcers  will sometimes result in complications. Bacterial infection is one such complication that can arise from these ulcers. Tooth abscess is a similar complication caused by this condition. Cellulitis is another common complication from this condition that is usually signaled by inflammation of the mouth.

Causes and Diagnosis of Mouth Ulcers

Aphthous ulcers can affect the gums, tongue or the lining of the mouth. These are minute  whitish  mouth ulcers  that have unknown causes. They mainly form in periods that are accompanied by emotional stress and in recurring bouts. They mainly occur in periods linked to monthly menses or emotional stress.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

Scientific researchers have speculated that immune system reactions could be a possible cause of apthlous ulcers. The fact that the immune system is susceptible to hormones and stress has led to this hypothesis. An allergic reaction or a virus could be the perceived trigger. Apthlous ulcers are also known as canker sores.

There are many factors that could lead to  ulcers in the mouth including:

  • Injuries sustained from a toothbrush especially when it slips while brushing.
  • Constant friction against misaligned teeth or sharp teeth could also lead to mouth ulcers.
  • Frequent grinding against brace frames or dentures is another possible cause.
  • Lack of  proper oral hygiene can also lead to ulcers.
  • Getting scalded from hot drinks or burns from hot meals.
  • The mouth could as well get irritated by potent antiseptics present in a mouthwash.
  • An oral thrush infection may culminate into an ulcer.
  • A viral infection is commonly referred to as a cold sore. A similar cause of ulcers includes herpes infection which is caused by a virus.
  • A list of diseases among them AIDS, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, and inflammatory bowel symptoms are also associated to mouth ulcers.
  • Lichen planus and a host of other autoimmune conditions.
  • Infection from syphilis and a host of other infectious diseases such the hand-foot-mouth syndrome.
  • Chemical reactions including side effects to certain drugs like chemotherapeutic agents.
  • Another possible cause is oral cancer.

Identifying the actual cause of the mouth ulcers is very important. Some diagnostic procedures involved may include:

  • Blood tests, it important to screen the blood for any potential signs of infection.
  • skin biopsy: This involves taking a tiny fragment of the ulcer and putting it under laboratory examination.
  • Physical examination.  Mouth ulcers  vary in appearance based upon their causes. For example large and yellowish ulcers result mainly from trauma. Cold sores on the inside of the mouth usually spread onto the throat, gums, tongue, and the inside of cheeks.  The presence of a fever could also suggest the presence of an infection such as a herpes simplex infection.

Prevention and Treatment of  Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

Some types of mouth ulcers require medical attention. These include ulcers that arise from herpes simplex infections and the aphthous kind of ulcers. Unfortunately, is impossible to quicken ulcer recovery. Nonetheless ulcer symptoms are manageable and the risky complications can also be contained.

Some useful tips to keep mouth ulcers at bay include:

  • Brushing your teeth after meals or at least twice a day.
  • Making regular visits to your dentist for dental check ups.
  • Taking special precautions when brushing your teeth to prevent accidental injuries like slipping of the toothbrush.
  • Taking healthy, well balanced meals that satisfy all your nutritional needs.
  • Regular flossing also aids in preventing the formation of ulcers.
  • Proper handling of conditions and diseases that cause vulnerability. These may include inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes mellitus.
  • Ulcer treatment includes the application of antiseptic gel onto the ulcers.
  • Having a regular mouth rinse with warm mildly salty water is recommended.
  • Always maintain proper dental hygiene.
  • During the healing period keep off sour and spicy foods.
  • Ensure you take adequate amounts of water everyday.
  • Pain killers like Tylenol are also beneficial in relieving ulcer pain.
  • Medicated mouthwashes are effective in reducing the symptoms associated with ulcers.
  • Steroid gels or tablets can also be used in the treatment of ulcers.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in treating aphthous ulcers.
  • Antiviral medication should be employed in the treatment of ulcers resulting from herpes simplex virus.
  • Oral thrush should be treated using anti-fungal medication.
  • Occasionally, immunosuppressant drugs will be necessary in ulcer treatment.
  • If you experience regular bouts of  mouth ulcers  or your ulcers don’t resolve within a few days, then seek assistance from your doctor, dentist or pharmacist.
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