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Home Remedy for Mouth Ulcers in Adults and Children

Updated on November 14, 2016
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John uses Biochemistry and Physiology (PhD) skills to review health topics, disease prevention, home remedies for ailments & better health

A mouth ulcer is a sore in the delicate tissue inside of the mouth ( the mucous membranes) that usually occurs because of an abrasion that gets infected and becomes inflamed and sore. Mouth ulcers are usually found on gums, inside the cheek, inside the bottom lip, or on the tongue. Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are common in people of all ages, including children and the incidence various considerably, perhaps related to diet and vitamin status. There is a wide variety of causes ranging from a simple abrasions in the mouth from food, eating candy, a toothbrush or a hit on the head or face, digestive problems, chemical irritation, anaemia, tobacco abuse, vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12, vitamin C.

Usually, infrequent mouth ulcers, like skin abrasions, are harmless and are repaired naturally in a few days without any need for professional medical treatment. Persistent, severe, widespread and regularly occurring ulcers may require professional medical consultation and treatment. Aphthous ulcers, which returnfrequently with no apparent cause, occur in about 20% of the population. Consult a doctor if you are afflicted by regular mouth ulcer attacks without obvious causes or if the ulcers do not clear up within a couple of days.

This article contains some helpful advice about home remedies for minor and non-recurrent mouth ulcers. Home remedies cannot miraculously cure ulcers, but can relieve the symptoms, help the natural repair processes and so the avoid risk of complications.

Mouth ulcers are very common. Discover the best remedies and how to avoid them
Mouth ulcers are very common. Discover the best remedies and how to avoid them | Source
Mouth ulcers are common just inside the lips
Mouth ulcers are common just inside the lips | Source
Honey is good for temporary relief of mouth ulcers
Honey is good for temporary relief of mouth ulcers | Source

Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers

  • The symptoms vary considerably, but may include:
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Round sores inside the bottom lip, on the gums, and on the inside of the cheeks, on the tongue or elsewhere inside the mouth
  • Problems with chewing or tenderness when cleaning teeth
  • Swollen and red inflamed skin around the sores, and a white spot in the center (pus), sometimes yellow or grey.
  • The sores get irritated or tender when salty, spicy or sour foods are eaten
  • Loss of appetite

Causes of Mouth Ulcers

There is a wide range of possible causes including:

  • Accidental biting of the cheek
  • Abrasion cause by eating hard lollies or candy, chewing a bone or hard food
  • Abrasion caused when using a toothbrush (such as jerking or slipping while brushing)
  • Abrasion or rubbing against sharp or misaligned teeth
  • Rubbing by braces and dentures
  • Eating a lot of sugary foods and snacks
  • Generally poor oral hygiene, such as not cleaning teeth
  • Damage from eating extremely hot food
  • Deficiencies in Vitamin C, vitamin B12 and zinc can contribute
  • Viral infections such as Herpes simplex (cold sore)
  • Side effects of various drugs
  • Various Auto-immune diseases
  • In serious cases, various diseases and infections such as Syphilis, cancers, tuberculosis, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, hand-foot-mouth syndrome, diabetes

Home Treatment for Mouth Ulcers

Some of the best home remedies include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Avoiding hot, spicy and sour foods.
  • Regular mouth rinses with warm, slightly salted water, and gargling with salty water.
  • Salt applied directly to the ulcer using a wet finger or cotton bud dipped in salt
  • Keeping your mouth clean and regularly brushing your teeth.
  • Breaking a vitamin B tablet and holding it against the ulcer using your tongue lip or cheek
  • Taking analgesics such as paracetamol.
  • Honey, which has healing properties
  • Applying antiseptic gel to the ulcers.
  • Using a medicated mouthwash.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as antihistamines

Prevention of Mouth Ulcers

To reduce to risk of mouth ulcers try these:

  • Buy a new softer toothbrush or an electric one that causes less abrasion in the mouth.
  • Regularly brush your teeth at least twice every day without abasing your gums
  • Brush your teeth very gently and properly and avoid jerking and slipping when brushing.
  • Stop eating hard sweet and candy and other hard food items
  • Avoid eating sharp edged food like dry bread, hard biscuits or potato crisps
  • Improve your diet and take a vitamin supplement that includes vitamins B, C, D and E.
  • Checking for any underlying diseases and medical causes
  • Use a medicated mouthwash

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© 2012 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • sfshine profile image

    sfshine 5 years ago from Michigan

    Great information about mouth ulcer. It is painful.

  • hazelwood4 profile image

    hazelwood4 6 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

    I have had mouth ulcers in the past, and it can be very painful. Thank you for sharing this informative and useful Hub on home remedies.

  • aslaught profile image

    aslaught 6 years ago from Alabama

    Thanks for sharing these noteworthy tips!