Mouth ulcers are painful round or oval sores that form in the mouth, most often on the inside of the cheeks or lips.
They're usually white, red, yellow or grey in color and are inflamed (red and swollen) around the edge. Although mouth ulcers can be uncomfortable, especially when you eat, drink or brush your teeth, they are usually harmless. Most mouth ulcers will clear up by themselves within a week or two.
May take time to heal if there is secondary infection.
Most minor, single mouth ulcers are caused by damage to the mouth, for example by accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while eating, or from a sharp tooth, food or filling.
The cause of a recurrent mouth ulcer is not always clear, but it's likely to be a combination of factors including a genetic vulnerability and a certain trigger. Possible triggers may include feeling stressed or anxious, eating certain foods, hormonal changes and stopping smoking.
In some cases, recurrent mouth ulcers are a sign of an underlying health condition, such as iron deficiency anemia or Crohn's disease.
- Open sores in the mouth
- Pain or discomfort in the mouth
- In severe mouth ulcer attacks, you may also experience:
- Physical sluggishness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- avoid damaging the inside of your mouth by using a soft toothbrush and avoiding hard, brittle or sharp-edged foods
- avoid things you think may be triggering your ulcers, such as specific foods
- make sure you maintain good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- have regular check-ups at your dentist – your dentist can spot and treat problems, such as sharp teeth or fillings, that could damage your mouth
- eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins