Seema is again not feeling well. The cause is minor…but pain and swelling is unbearable. She is suffering from mouth ulcer. And recurrent mouth ulcer-causing a lot of trouble in eating, chewing even in speaking. Different peoples are offering different advice to her. Someone is saying “it is a digestion issue”, and then someone has given the advice to take vitamin B12 supplements. Yes! It is true that there could be different reasons for mouth ulcers, and it may be a symptom of some underlying disease. What is the mouth ulcer? What are their types? What are the different causes and symptoms of mouth ulcers? And how can we manage it at home with homeopathy? Read on to know about this?
What is mouth ulcer?
A mouth ulcer is an ulcer on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity, usually appears as a small, painful lesion, white or pink in colour. Mouth ulcers are very common occurring in association with different diseases and by many different mechanisms. They may form individually or multiple ulcers may appear at the same time. Mouth ulcers often cause pain and discomfort and may make eating, drinking and talking uncomfortable. Women, adolescents and people with a family history of mouth ulcers are at higher risk of developing mouth ulcers.
Although they are uncomfortable, they are usually harmless and go within 1-2 weeks. Rarely there is any serious underlying cause detected. However, if these ulcers are large, painful or last for a long time without healing then you should seek professional medical advice for further treatment.
Types of mouth ulcers
There are mainly 3 types of mouth ulcers.
- · Minor aphthous ulcer
- · Major Aphthous ulcer
- · Herpetiform ulcer
Minor aphthous ulcer– these are small, round or oval and most common type of mouth ulcer. They are less than 10 mm in size and heal within one to two weeks with no scarring. They are not very painful.
Major Aphthous ulcer – they are larger in size (usually 10mm or larger) and deeper than minor ones. Usually, 1or 2 appear at a time. They are very painful and can take up to six weeks to heal. They leave scar while healing.
Herpetiform ulcer– multiple ulcers occur at the same time but some may join together and form irregular shapes. They appear in the clusters of 10 to 100. Each ulcer lasts 1 week to 2 months.
Symptoms of mouth ulcer
- · Redness, soreness, pain and burning inside the mouth
- · Swollen skin around the sores
- · Tenderness
- · Difficulty in chewing, talking
- · Irritation by hot and spicy food
- · Loss of appetite
Causes of Mouth ulcers
Even though there are no fixed causative factors that cause mouth ulcers. But still, there are few factors that may act as a trigger. These factors may be classified into following categories:
- · Poor oral hygiene
- · Higher level of stress, anxiety and lack of sleep
- · Hormonal changes during menstruation
- · Sometimes food allergies and food sensitivities to certain acidic foods such as strawberries, pineapples or eating certain foods such as spicy food, almonds, cheese, and white flour may trigger the onset of mouth ulcers.
- · Genetic factor plays a vital role in developing mouth ulcers. People with the strong family history of mouth ulcers often suffer from the mouth ulcers.
- · Stop smoking- after stop smoking, you develop mouth ulcers first few days.
- · Iron or deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid may be a factor in some cases.
- · Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulphate may cause mouth ulcer.
Apart from general causes, mechanical factors are main responsible factors that cause mouth ulcers. This includes:
- · Accidently biting the inside of your cheek while eating
- · Poorly fitting dentures
- · Hard or hot food
- · Injury from a toothbrush (improper brushing)
- · Sharp tooth or any other teeth related issues
- · A defective feeling
Mouth ulcers may be associated with certain disease conditions. There may be certain systemic and iatrogenic causes are responsible for it. Such as:
Microbial diseases– herpetic stomatitis, chicken pox, syphilis, tuberculosis, fungal infections, herpes zoster, hand mouth and foot disease, human immunodeficiency virus infection, infectious mononucleosis, acute necrotizing gingivitis, herpangina
Gastrointestinal diseases– celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
Malignant neoplasms blood disorder– anaemia, leukaemia, and neutropenia
Rheumatoid diseases– lupus erythematosus, Reiter’s disease, Bechet’s disease
Cutaneous diseases– pemphigus, chronic ulcerative stomatitis, lichen planus, erythema multiformis
Drugs and medication
Mouth ulcers can be caused by certain medications or treatment. Such as
- · Cytotoxic agents
- · Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibrufen
- · Nicorandil- a medication that is used for treating angina.
- · Beta blockers- used to treat high blood pressure, angina and abnormal heart rhythm.
- · A side effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy
Self-care for mouth ulcers
However mouth ulcers are the self-limiting condition, usually, they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two. However, self-care and home remedies may ease pain and discomfort. These are:
- · Using a soft toothbrush for brushing your teeth
- · Avoid hot, spicy, hard or acidic food until the ulcers heal
- · Using a straw to drink
- · Avoid using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulphate
- · You may use lozenges, mouthwashes to ease the pain and for quick healing
- · Stop the medication if you suspect the medication is causing the ulcer. Talk to your doctor about other alternative medication.
Homeopathic medicines are very effective in treatment of mouth ulcers and works wonderfully when symptoms match perfectly. You can use it at home when the infection is not severe, but for recurrent and severe infections professional advice is recommended. Here is some good homeopathic medicine that works great in treating mouth ulcers.
- · Belladona– excellent anti-inflammatory medicine, relieves pain, swelling and inflammation
- · Capsicum- when “Burning” is a prominent symptom.
- · Nux vomica- when the history of allopathic over drug and constipation are present.
- · Borax- especially useful for children’s, and fungal infection.
- · Arsenic- when a patient is very restless, nervous and anxious
- · Hepar Sulph- when pus formation is present
- · Merc sol- when bad taste in mouth is the prominent symptom.
- Disclaimer– the article is for informational purpose only not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of any disease
This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z, and I am sharing #HomeopathyA2Z.