Mouth Ulcers: Causes and Prevention

Have you ever winced from pain while eating something spicy? Perhaps you had bitten your inner cheeks/tongue in error or you scrubbed too hard while brushing in the morning. These things happen so often we hardly realize there’s a name for them: mouth ulcers (also known as canker sores). Mouth ulcers happen when there is a bruising of the delicate tissue that lines the inner part of the mouth.

What causes mouth ulcers?

Inadvertently biting your tongue or cheeks are the major causes of mouth ulcer. Some other causes include:

  • Genetics
  • Underlying diseases
  • Stress
  • Allergies

Preventing mouth ulcers

It might seem pointless to try to prevent mouth ulcers since no one sets out to deliberately hurt themselves. However, here are a few tips that, if kept in mind, will help you to drastically reduce the frequency of mouth ulcers:

  • Brush softly: Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and scrub carefully during your morning and evening routine.
  • Know your triggers: Depending on individual body chemistry, there might be specific foods or fruits that set off a mouth ulcer. The common ones include acidic fruits like orange, lemon, and grapefruit.
  • Be careful with chips: If you chew chips or nuts too quickly, you run the risk of bruising your mouth and getting canker sores.

Mouth ulcers often heal within 5-9 days and leave no scarring. If after 10 days, your mouth is still bruised, it may be an indication that you have a more serious oral condition, e.g., gingivitis. Schedule a dental visit and have it checked out immediately.