What to look for
Mouth ulcers are open sores of round and shallow white, grey or yellow spots with an inflamed red edge, that occur anywhere on the lining of the mouth, including the cheeks and the inside of the lips. The ulcers sting and may make eating difficult.
Mouth ulcers are common and often appear for no reason. Some women get mouth ulcers around their menstrual cycle and they are common in those with compromised immune systems. Stress, being run down, aggressive tooth brushing or ill-fitting dentures can all cause ulcers. Ulcers are also symptoms of other conditions such as ulcerative colitis, gingivitis, anaemia, allergies and celiac disease. In rare cases, they may be a symptom of mouth cancer.
When to seek further professional advice
If you have mouth ulcers, you should consult your doctor so that he can treat them appropriately.
Western Herbalism: As herbalists generally see mouth ulcers as a sign of being run down, treatment looks at the underlying health as well as the ulcers themselves. A mouthwash of tincture of myrrh, available from herbalist stores and chemists, should clear up the ulcers in 48 hours if used every two hours or so. Chewing a piece of Liquorice root is both soothing and healing.
Homeopathy: If there is bad breath and increased salivation, try Merc. sol. 6. When the ulcers feel like sharp splinters, try Nitric Acid 6. When ulcers are on the soft palate and bleed when touched or during eating, and the mouth feels tender and hot, Borax 6 is the recommended treatment.
Other therapies include: Naturopathic Treatment and Kinesiology.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Hydrocortisone ointments or washes can be swilled around the mouth and may help avoid infection. In rare cases where they are caused by bacteria, antibiotic treatment may be appropriate. Most mouth ulcers disappear in a few days. Mouthwashes or local anaesthetic lozenges such as benzocaine (available without prescription) help to keep the mouth clean and relieve pain. However, take care that you do not numb the mouth before a meal as this might lead to choking. Glycerine is a well-tried remedy to soothe the soreness of mouth ulcers: apply it with the fingertip. Repeat at regular intervals. If the symptoms are persistent or severe, you should see a doctor to exclude any underlying cause. If you find a hard lump in your mouth and it persists for more than two weeks, consult your doctor or dentist to check that it is not a malignant growth. It could well be an abscess, or non-cancerous cyst.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.