Q. I keep getting regular mouth ulcers. Is it a sign of something worse?
A. Normally, if you have a single mouth ulcer, it has most probably been caused by the damage you have done by biting the inside of your mouth, cheek or tongue, or if you have sharp teeth. Sometimes, they can even be caused by brushing a bit too aggressively or if your dentures don’t fit properly — these types of ulcers are known as traumatic ulcers.
If you are getting ulcers quite regularly, you will be suffering from a condition called recurrent aphthous stomatitis, which isn’t infectious but can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. Usually, you can treat your mouth ulcers yourself.
There are numerous protective pastes that you can buy over the counter in pharmacies and also buy a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush your teeth. Other ways you can speed up the healing process are staying away from foods that are spicy, contain salt or are acidic as well as hot foods and drinks until the ulcer has fully healed.
The majority of mouth ulcers should heal on their own, but if they keep recurring, then I recommend seeing your dentist as they will be able to advise you on what steps you should take to ensure you can avoid recurrences.
If a mouth ulcer lasts longer than three weeks, it can be a sign of mouth cancer and can be caused by smoking, drinking alcohol or infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), something your dentist or doctor will be able to diagnose and advise treatment options for.
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