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How to Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers

written by: Emjay Annavi Baclay • edited by: lrohner • updated: 11/29/2010

Mouth ulcers can cause sufferers severe pain. Because of their location, they are often subject to infections which can cause further complications and pain. Learning how to get rid of mouth ulcers is critical to keep complications from happening in the first place.

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    Mouth ulcers, also referred to as apthous or oral ulcers, are painful, defined open lesions or sores located inside the mouth. Women and young adults are reportedly more prone to suffer from this condition.

    The usual symptoms include open sores and mouth pain, but the location of sores and other distinctive appearances depend on the particular type of mouth ulcer. A variety of disorders can cause mouth ulcers, including leukoplakia, gingivostomatitis, canker sores, herpes simplex, oral cancer and oral thrush.

    In terms of how to get rid of mouth ulcers, self-care and medical treatment are easily available to alleviate persisting symptoms. These can also help to prevent further complications from developing, such as oral cancer.

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    Types of Mouth Ulcers

    The three types of mouth ulcers are classified as minor ulcers, major ulcers, and herpetiform ulcers. Diagnosis can be based on the respective symptoms, but biopsy and blood tests may be employed by health care providers or dentists so as to confirm or determine the cause.

    Minor ulcers account for around 80 per cent of all mouth ulcer cases. Their size is usually small, with a diameter of 2 to 8 mm. These types of ulcers generally do not result in scars. Minor ulcers often heal by themselves in 10 to 15 days.

    Major ulcers are deeper and larger, with a diameter of roughly 1 cm or more. Scarring can arise from these ulcers, and these also normally warrant longer healing periods that can last for up to several weeks.

    The third type, herpetiform ulcers, only account for around 5 to 10 percent of mouth ulcer cases. These are characterized by the presence of several tiny sores, with a number that can reach up to around 100. The sores often fuse together, causing extreme pain.

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    How To Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers

    You can alleviate the symptoms of mouth ulcers through medical treatment and self-care. If the cause of the particular type of mouth ulcer is determined, the treatment must be targeted to the cause in order for the ulcer to naturally heal. However, if the mouth ulcer is mild, does not frequently reoccur or does not get in the way of one’s day-to-day routines; the mouth ulcer can heal naturally, and will usually not warrant any formal treatment at all.

    Self-care— Simple self-care measures such as undertaking proper and thorough yet gentle oral hygiene activities can aid in lessening the severity of symptoms. These include using a soft toothbrush and reducing stress levels. It is also important for patients to do away with the intake of foods that intensify the pain caused by mouth ulcers, which include spicy and hard foods.

    Medical treatment— Medication may also be prescribed for symptom alleviation, but there are medicines that can be bought without prescription.

    Rubbed corticosterois, antacids, and other preparations that serve to soothe pain and other symptoms can be directly applied to the affected areas. Patients may also want to use an antimicrobial mouthwash so as to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms that may cause infection. Painkillers may also be prescribed, suchas benzydamine, so as to help patients cope with the pain.

    It is imperative that prior to using medication, individuals with mouth ulcers must consult health care providers regarding the fitting types to purchase and to apply to the affected area. Caution must be exercised, because some medication may not be suitable to certain age groups or people.