Aphthae, or aphthous stomatitis, are wounds on the mucous membrane that occur in connection with infections. First, small blisters form which then develop into small wounds. Aphthae generally disappear within ten days, without treatment. In more severe cases, you may need medication to relieve the problem.
APPOTEK can help you treat mouth ulcers.
The cause is not entirely clear, but is thought to be multifactorial. The ulcers are often triggered by a weakened condition, for example in connection with infections. This creates an autoimmune process that allows the body’s defense system to react against the body’s own tissues. Studies also show that an already irritated oral mucosa can be impaired by toothpaste and mouthwashes containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Some suffer from aphthae in connection with gluten intolerance (celiac disease). It can sometimes be a first sign of inflammatory bowel disease, low blood values or anemia.
A common sign you have mouth ulcers is that it hurts and burns when you eat. Initially small, the blisters develop into defined, crater-shaped wounds with a distinct redness around them. These vary in size depending on where in the mouth they are situated. They do not bleed but can hurt. How many ulcers and how painful, varies from person to person.
Prevention and protection
Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth can be helpful. These include acidic fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, orange and lemon, as well as nuts, chips, or anything spicy.
Instead, choose whole grains and alkaline (non acidic) fruits and vegetables. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin.
Try to avoid talking while you’re chewing your food to reduce accidental bites. Reducing stress and maintaining good oral hygiene by using dental floss daily and brushing after meals may also help. Finally, get adequate sleep and rest. This not only will this prevent mouth ulcers, but a host of other illnesses as well.
Some people find avoiding soft bristle toothbrushes and mouthwashes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate also helps.
Ulcers in the mouth often heal by themselves within ten days. In persistent cases, there are home treatments and medicines that can relieve the problems. These include:
- using a rinse of saltwater and baking soda
- covering mouth ulcers with baking soda paste
- using over-the-counter benzocaine (topical anesthetic) products like Orajel or Anbesol
- applying ice to canker sores
- using a mouth rinse that contains a steroid to reduce pain and swelling
- using topical pastes
- placing damp tea bags on your mouth ulcer
- trying natural remedies such as chamomile tea, echinacea, myrrh, and licorice root
When to consult a doctor
If you have ulcers in your mouth for more than two weeks or have recurring problems, you should seek medical attention. If you have severe nausea and find it difficult to eat, you should also seek medical care.
How APPOTEK can help
You can contact us at APPOTEK for help with mouth ulcers. A nurse or a physician will make an individual assessment based on your symptoms, after which you may be prescribed treatment or referred for further examination. Bear in mind that if your child has a problem, they should always see a doctor.