Most of us have experienced the discomfort from mouth ulcers from time to time. Mouth ulcers are open sores in the mouth that usually starts out as blisters. Factors causing ulcers include:
1. Physical abrasion
Mouth ulcers in patients with dental braces are common. The brackets bonded to the teeth are in constant contact with the inside surface of the cheeks and lips. With
the movements when we speak and eat, the rubbing of the brackets against the cheeks and lips may give rise to ulcers. In other cases, mouth ulcers may also be caused by the sharp edges of the teeth or the chewing of food such as crabs and prawns with their shells on.
- Diet and diet deficiencies
Vitamin C deficiencies may prevent the wound healing process, thus contributing to mouth ulcers. Deficiencies in Iron, Vitamin B12 and zinc are often linked to the formation of ulcers. In addition, acidic food may also cause mouth ulcers.
- Allergies and Auto-Immune System
An allergic reaction of the auto-immune system in response to chemical or biological agents may initiate the formation of ulcers. With this condition, it often feels that the ulcers appear out of nowhere.
Mouth ulcers normally will heal in 2 – 3 weeks. If there is no sign of healing after this period of time, you should see your dentist for a check-up as some oral cancers first appear as mouth ulcers.
- Other Factors
There are many other causes that may initiate the appearance of mouth ulcers, such as; Fungal or Bacterial Infections and signs of certain medical conditions (e.g. Behcet’s syndrome, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, Herpangina).
What you can do…
Depending on the cause, the treatments recommended would differ.
- For those with dental braces, request wax from your dentist so that you can use it to cover the brackets to minimize the abrasion from the metal to your mouth. Alternatively, there is a new innovation in teeth straightening, Invisalign, which straighten your teeth with a series of clear removable aligners. Without the brackets, it means it would be ‘friendlier’ to your mouth and result in less abrasion and mouth ulcers.
- If the accidental biting or the rubbing of the sharp edges of your teeth is the cause, of the mouth ulcer, visit your dentist so that he or she can smoothen the sharp edges of your teeth/restorations.
- The most important thing is to have a balanced diet. Where indicated, your doctor should also be able to advise you about the need for supplements.
What factors caused the mouth ulcers that you have experienced in the past? Get your mouth checked if this occurs too often. Make an appointment with our dental specialists online at www.specialistdentalgroup.com or call our clinic at (65) 6734 9393.