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Mouth Ulcers – Causes and Treatment of Mouth Ulcer

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        <p>A mouth ulcer is the loss or erosion of part of the delicate
tissue that lines the inside of the mouth (mucous membrane). Some of the
causes include certain drugs, chemicals and infectious diseases such as
herpes or thrush. The most common cause is mechanical injury, such as
accidentally biting your cheek. In most cases, mouth ulcers are harmless
and resolve by themselves in a few days without the need for medical
treatment. Aphthous ulcers are recurring ulcers with no known cause that
affect around 20 per cent of the population. <br>

<br>

Mouth ulcers generally start off with a burning feeling at a specific
spot in the mouth. A blister eventually appears at the same spot and turn
into a reddish spot or a slight buildup with it's top broken off. It then
slowly turns into an open ulcer, that looks like a white oval with a red
border (that's the inflammation). The white or yellow color inside is the
result of layers of fibrin that form around the ulcer. Sometimes a white
circle can also be seen around the lesion (called halo by some
people).<br>

<br>

Mouth ulcers are very common. Mouth ulcers are painful, annoying and
sometimes embarrassing. They are red breaks in the lining of your mouth.
The pain is caused by the nerves just below the surface of the lining of
the mouth becoming exposed. Luckily most mouth ulcers are easy to
treat.<br>

Causes of mouth ulcers<br>

There are many processes which can lead to ulceration of the oral
tissues. In some cases they are caused by an overreaction by the body's
own immune system. <br>

<br>

The tongue, gums or mouth lining can be affected. Crops of these tiny
off-white ulcers tend to sprout during times of emotional stress or the
menstrual period.<br>

Most common in teens stress related mouth ulcers will heal within a
couple of weeks. Prevention is by resolving stress related problems or
using stress busting relaxation strategies.<br>

Changes in hormone levels. Some women find that mouth ulcers occur just
before their period. In some women, the ulcers only develop after the
menopause.<br>

<br>

It is not yet fully understood what causes mouth ulcers. They do not
appear to be caused by bacteria or viruses and are not infectious or
contagious. Genetic studies have shown that a susceptibility to them can
be inherited, therefore family members sometimes share the condition.<br>

<br>

Treatment of mouth ulcers<br>

<br>

The goal of treatment is relief of symptoms. The cause, if known, should
be treated. Gentle, thorough oral hygiene may relieve some of the
symptoms. Topical (rubbed on) antihistamines, antacids, corticosteroids,
or other soothing preparations may be recommended for applying on top of
the ulcer. Avoid hot or spicy foods, which often increase the pain of
mouth ulcers.<br>

<br>

Some people benefit from using the over-the-counter topical gel Bonjela,
which contains choline salicylate -- choline salicylate is a local
analgesic that helps to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with
oral ulcers.<br>

<br>

Steroid lozenges may also reduce the pain, and may help ulcers to heal
more quickly. By using your tongue you can keep a lozenge in contact with
an ulcer until the lozenge dissolves. A steroid lozenge works best the
sooner it is started once an ulcer erupts. If used early, it may 'nip it
in the bud', and prevent an ulcer from fully erupting. <br>

<br>

Rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water may ease the pain.
Similarly, take care not to eat anything with sharp edges, such as
crisps, as they may scrape against the ulcers causing discomfort and
pain.<br>

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