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It is amazing to think that something as small and seemingly insignificant like a mouth ulcer can make life absolutely miserable for the people affected! Almost everyone will have suffered from mouth ulcers at some point or another and most of these people will have taken symptomatic medication for a couple of days until they got better.
For a smaller subset of the population, however, these mouth ulcers can be excruciatingly painful and an all too frequent occurrence.
Types Of Mouth Ulcers
- Minor Ulcers
- Major Ulcers
Minor ulcers are smaller in size, usually ranging from around 2-8mms and clear up on their own within a maximum of two weeks. Major ulcers, on the other hand, are much larger in size and can stay in the mouth for a couple of months. These major ulcers also leave behind a scar on healing.
Causes Of Mouth Ulcers
There are a number of causes that have been identified as responsible for the causation of mouth ulcers.
This is by far the most common reason for an ulcer to form in the mouth. Inadvertent trauma while chewing food, due to a rough edge of a prosthesis, sharp end of a tooth or due to eating something of extreme temperature can all be causes. The ulcers that are caused in this way are solitary or maybe a couple in number and may be acutely painful for the duration they are present. They almost always heal on their own and do not really need any medical intervention.
People who are prone to anxiety, depression or under a severe amount of mental duress often see a breakout of mouth ulcers. The exact link between stress and mouth ulcers is unknown, although he most likely theory seems to link a depression in the functioning of the immune system. This allows latent virus in the system to become active and cause ulcers.
A lot of the time, people who have recently changed their toothpaste brand or another oral hygiene product find themselves find that they develop mouth ulcers soon after. Some of the additive substances that are used for flavoring in these products can cause an allergic reaction.
If this is indeed the cause then the ulcers will be multiple and more often placed towards the palate, although they may occur elsewhere as well. An associated reaction on the gums can also be seen commonly which will result in redness, bleeding and pain in the affected region.
It can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact thing that is causing an allergic reaction, however, if the doctor may order a test for potential allergens if the symptoms are severe and involve other parts of the body as well.
The treatment will involve a course of antihistamines along with avoiding exposure to the identified allergen.