Mouth ulcers are a common irritation, often linked to stress or being overworked, springing up in the wake of exams and during the build-up to presentations. The Americans prefer calling them canker sores but either way, when should you come in to our dentist in Wrexham to see us about an outbreak of ulcers?
The yellowish whitish sores typically occur on the inside of cheeks, lips and sometimes the underside of the tongue and roof of the mouth, stinging on contact with heat or acid. Popping up alone or in small clusters, almost everyone has had them. As much as we wish we could resolve them for you in our surgery, the truth is that they will often self-resolve in a few weeks.
You don’t have to worry about them being contagious, but some people seem genetically prone to them. There seems to be a wide family of normal commensal mouth bacteria which can end up forming an ulcer after the lining of the mouth has been disrupted by something, usually trauma or abrasion against jagged teeth. Some of our patients report them being triggered by acidic foods.
Chronic ulcers occurring in a similar place should not be ignored, as they are an important indication that something is going wrong. Perhaps a brace needs adjusting or a denture. It may also be a symptom of food intolerance. You should systematically explore your diet and eliminate potential allergens, like dairy, to see if it impacts on the formation of mouth ulcers.
Ulcers for more than 10 days
If your mouth ulcers are spreading or persistent for more the 10 days, our dentist in Wrexham
can intervene. An oral steroid ointment can relieve the inflammation and permit the healing to begin. If your ulcers are growing in size beyond the size of a 5 pence piece, contact us immediately and we will try to book you in for an appointment on the same day.
If your chronic mouth ulcers are also accompanied by joint stiffness, gas/diarrhoea and fatigue, you should talk to your GP about them as there is a good chance they are a part of a larger auto-immune disorder.
If you’ve just got your mouth ulcers under control and are not looking to go through that again, there are steps you can take to avoid reoccurrence.
If your ulcers are along your checks in line with where your teeth meet the cheek, they may be due to excessive chewing. You should reduce the use of chewing gum and be cautious when eating.
If they are on the inside of your lips and are also accompanied by receding gums, you may be brushing too hard causing gum erosion and abrasion on the inside of your lips.
Brushing after meals and flossing daily could help to control the build-up of commensal bacteria to stop them from becoming a future problem. But for a more in-depth look at your specific case, you have to talk to our dentist in Wrexham who will be able to advise you and book you in for a check-up if required.