Ulcers are frequently called canker sores or aphthous ulcers and they usually show up inside the lips, cheeks, on the sides of the tongue or in the floor of the mouth. Ulcers in the mouth are not uncommon, but for most people they usually do not occur on a very frequent basis.
Most of the time, ulcers are caused by irritation, stress, diet sensitivities, or existing medical conditions such as Celiac disease, leukemia or nutritional deficiencies. Food allergies to gluten or wheat, as well as IBS are frequently linked with ulcers. Sometimes ulcers seem to have no cause at all. Approximately only 10% of people that get ulcers have them occur on a frequent basis. If this is the case you should ask your dentist or medical provider about underlying systemic causes that may be to blame. Orthodontic patients may need to use wax on area of their braces that rub their cheeks or lips to prevent traumatic ulcers from occurring. Most of the time the skin will toughen up over time, eliminating the need for wax.
Home treatments are usually adequate for addressing discomfort from ulcers, and most ulcers heal within about 2 weeks. The use of aloe vera gel or applying essential oils to the area can speed up the healing process as well as reduce symptoms. Be sure to address any nutritional deficiencies as well, such as iron or vitamin B, and avoid trigger foods that may increase ulcers, like acidic fruit or wheat.
Aphthous ulcers are not related to cold sores, which are caused by a virus. They are not contagious and are typically much smaller than a cold sore.
Posted on behalf of North Point Periodontics
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