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          Mouth Ulcers: Causes & Treatments

          Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear in the mouth. Although they're uncomfortable, they’re usually harmless and most clear up by themselves within a week or two. However, patients with an ulcer of over three weeks' duration should be referred for biopsy or other investigations to exclude malignancy or other serious conditions such as chronic infections.

          What does a mouth ulcer look like?

          Mouth ulcers are usually round or oval sores that commonly appear inside the mouth on the cheeks, lips, gums, and tongue. They can be white, red, yellow, or grey in colour and swollen. It is possible to have more than one mouth ulcer at a time and they may spread or grow.

          What causes mouth ulcers?

          In many cases, the reason for mouth ulcers is unclear. Most single mouth ulcers are caused by damage to the lining inside of the mouth. Examples include accidentally biting the inside of your cheek or a sharp tooth, poorly fitting dentures, hard food, or defective dental filling.

          Mouth ulcers

          It’s not always clear what causes mouth ulcers that keep returning, but triggers are thought to include:

          Mouth ulcers can sometimes be caused by certain medical conditions, such as:

          Mouth ulcers can sometimes be caused by certain medications or treatments, such as:

          How to treat mouth ulcers

          Mouth ulcers don’t usually need to be treated, because they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two. However, treatment can help reduce swelling and ease any discomfort. This may help if you keep getting mouth ulcers or the mouth ulcer affects your eating and drinking.

          Mouth ulcers shouldn't be confused with cold sores, which are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. Cold sores often begin with a tingling, itching, or burning sensation around your mouth.

          Self-care

          These are things you can do to avoid mouth ulcers or speed up healing.

          Medicine from your pharmacist

          You can get several types of mouth ulcer treatment from a pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist about the best treatment for you. Options include the following:

          Mouth ulcers detection

          Medicines from your dentist or doctor

          If necessary, you may be prescribed a course of stronger corticosteroids to help reduce pain and swelling and speed up healing. Corticosteroids are available on prescription as tablets, mouthwash, paste or spray, but are not suitable for children under 12.

          If you notice persistent mouth ulcers that do not heal for several weeks, consult your dentist or doctor.