It seems like the worst place to get a cut or sore is on your gums or the mucous tissue in your mouth. When these sores appear, it can be hard to enjoy a meal or even talk without feeling pain.
Since the wounds in your mouth are constantly exposed to bacteria, it can take a long for them to heal, which in turn prolongs your discomfort.
The Anatomy of an Ulcer
An aphthous ulcer is a white, red or grey-ish wound with a red border that appears inside your mouth or along the inside of your lips. Sometimes, these sores may appear on your tongue, soft palate or even inside your cheek (1).
Minor ulcers typically range in size between 2-8mm and take between 10-14 days to clear up. Major ulcers, n the other hand, are larger and deeper, causing either a raised bump or a deep indentation. These types of ulcers can take weeks to heal and may leave you with a visible scar (2).
Ulcer may leave you leaving a bit of dull pain throughout the days, but activities such as eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth will trigger sharp pain.
For 1 in 5 people, this minor condition is a chronic problem. This is because ulcers have many different causes, some more avoidable than others.
Some medical conditions can cause ulcers, such as chronic Canker sores, gingivostomatitis, herpes simplex, the cold & flu, chickenpox, leukoplakia, oral cancer, oral lichen planus, oral thrush, and histoplasmosis .
Other causes include (3):
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- Nutritional deficiency
- Crohn’s disease
- Coeliac disease
- Reactive arthritis
- Weakened immune system
- Behçet’s disease
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Cellulitis of the mouth
- Dental infections (tooth abscesses)
- Oral cancer
- Acidic fruits
- Poor hygiene
- Hormonal imbalance
When their patient suffers from a mouth ulcer, doctors typically prescribe an antibiotic mouthwash or ointment to help clear their sore. But these remedies don’t take into the underlying cause of the condition and contribute towards antibiotic resistance since most mouth ulcers go away on their own after a few days.
Coconut oil is a natural way to keep oral bacteria under control. Plus, its healthy fats content helps moisturize your mouth and form a protective barrier over your wound.
Simply swish around coconut oil after every meal and spit it out or drink fresh coconut milk 3-4 times a day.
To make a gentle mouthwash, boil coriander a handful of cilantro leaves in 1-2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Strain and let the infusion cool. Store in sealed glass jars in the refrigerator and use it as a rinse 3-4 times a day.
3. Hot/Cold Water
To speed up the healing process, gargle a glass of cold water and follow up with a glass of lukewarm water. Repeat throughout the day for best results.
4. Fenugreek Mouthwash
Boil two cups of water with a generous amount of fenugreek leaves for 15 minutes. Like the coriander rinse, strain and store in sealed glass container and refrigerate for up to a week. Use 3-4 times day after eating.
If your ulcers are acting up, apply aloe gel directly on them using a clean finger. It’s also a good idea to take two tablespoons of the gel three times a day.
If you’re on the go all day, carry fresh basil or holy basil leaves and chew on them regularly to treat and prevent ulcers.
Gargle tomato juice three times daily or eat raw tomatoes with every meal to get rid of ulcers.
9. Cranberry Juice
Drinking cranberry juice with every meal might irritate your sores a bit at first, but it will gradually kill some of the bad bacteria in your mouth and heal them right up!
10. Salt Rinse
Salt will irritate your sores, but it’s the most simple way to fight a stubborn ulcer. Simple mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt in a tall glass of lukewarm water and gargle before and after ever meal. You’ll be cured in no time!
As your ulcer heals, use a soft toothbrush with gentle natural toothpaste, avoid hard, spicy, salty, acidic, or hot foods and drinks, use a straw to drink cool foods, and take the time to relax and enjoy yourself.
If your sores becomes unusually large, spread within your mouth, cause intolerable pain or are accompanied by a high fever, speak to your doctor or naturopath immediately.