Almost everybody has experienced a mouth ulcer at one time or another. It may be a very rare occurrence, or something that seems to happen to you frequently and without warning. Either way, they are painful and can make basic tasks such as eating or even talking uncomfortable. While ulcers are usually not a very serious issue, if left untreated, you may find that they become far more common and irritating.
To minimise the impact and effect of mouth ulcers, it pays to know a bit more about them. Read on to find out more.
What are mouth ulcers?
There are a few different types of ulcers. In their most common form, they are essentially breakages in the mucosal membrane that covers the inside of the mouth. When this damage occurs, the body's natural response is to form an ulcer. Because the nerves of the mouth are so close to the surface, this often results in pain, especially when touched
There are several different ways that these breakages can arise, ranging from injury right through to a nutrient deficiency. Some people may find that they are more predisposed towards them, especially if they are heavy smokers or drinkers. On the other side of the coin, irritations from the likes of ill-fitting dentures can continually rub against the mucosal membrane, tearing it and creating a frequently occurring ulcer in the same area. It's therefore important to make sure that any dental crowns and fillings are well-fitted and comfortable.
A mouth ulcer will heal on its own – usually within a period of about two weeks.
Treating and avoiding ulcers
In many cases, a mouth ulcer will heal on its own – usually within a period of about two weeks. During this time, it's important to maintain high levels of dental hygiene. This can be difficult if the movement of your toothbrush is causing you pain, but it's imperative to avoid any infection or bacteria buildup. If you find that it hasn't gone away in this timeframe, or is exceptionally painful, the best thing to do is book an appointment with your dentist immediately.
To reduce the pain of an ulcer, you have a few different options. Gargling with warm, salty water is a classic remedy that you can do at home, and there are also several specialised gels that provide a local anaesthetic to the area in question. For more information on maintaining good oral hygiene, get in touch with City Dentists today.