Many people develop ulcers in their mouths during stressful situations, such as during examinations or before an important interview or meeting. While these oral ulcers are generally harmless, they can cause significant pain and discomfort.
But what are these ulcers, and why do they develop? This blog will answer all your questions about mouth ulcers. So, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about them.
What are Oral Ulcers in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
Mouth ulcers are sores that develop inside the oral cavity 1. Althuogh oral ulcers rarely indicate something serious, they can affect one’s quality of life and cause discomfort. But the good news is that oral ulcers are typically self-healing and clear up within 1-2 weeks.
What Does an Oral Ulcer Look Like in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
Mouth ulcers are generally oval or round that typically appear inside the mouth on the tongue, cheeks, and lips. They can appear white, yellow, grey, or red. Furthermore, it may be possible to have more than one ulcer in the oral cavity, and they can continue to grow in size.
Oral ulcers can also begin with tingling, itching, or burning around the affected area.
What are the Types of Oral Ulcers in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
There are three main types of oral ulcers: minor, major, and herpetiform ulcers.
- Minor Oral Ulcers
These are the most common type of mouth ulcers. They are small in size, oval-shaped, and have a red edge. These ulcers generally last for about two weeks and heal uneventfully without scarring.
- Major Oral Ulcers
These ulcers are less common. Major oral ulcers are larger than minor mouth ulcers. These ulcers usually appear round and have defined borders. However, they have irregular edges when they grow larger.
Major mouth ulcers can be extremely painful 2. These ulcers may take up to six weeks to heal and tend to cause extensive post-healing scarring.
- Herpetiform Ulcers
These ulcers are not very common and usually develop in later years.
Herpetiform ulcers are very small in size and often occur in clusters of 10-100 sores. In some cases, they can merge to form a large ulcer. Herpetiform ulcers have irregular edges.
Like minor ulcers, herpetiform sores generally heal within 2 weeks and do not cause scarring.
What are the Causes of Oral Ulcers in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
The exact cause of oral ulcers is not entirely known. However, research has shown that they develop due to various factors.
Some of the risk factors of oral ulcers are:
- Trauma – an injury to the mouth caused by forceful brushing, sports-related trauma, or a cheek bite can cause oral ulcers.
- Toothpaste – some toothpaste and mouth rinses contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient notorious for causing oral ulcers.
- Food Items – some food items like chocolate, strawberries, eggs, nuts, coffee, and cheese can also cause oral ulcers in susceptible individuals. Similarly, a diet that lacks vitamin B-12, zinc, iron, or folic acid can also result in oral ulcers.
- Allergic responses
- Helicobactor Pylori infection
- Hormonal shifts during menstruation in women
- Emotional stress, such as exams or interviews
- Chronic medical conditions
When to See your Dentist in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
Oral ulcers usually do not require any treatment as they are self-healing. However, you may take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce the pain and swelling.
One should consult their cosmetic and implant dentistry Gramercy Park, NY practice if they experience any of the following:
- Unusually large oral ulcers
- Recurring ulcers that persist beyond two weeks
- Sores extending into the lips or corners of the mouth
- Ulcers that cause pain that is not relieved with over-the-counter medication
- Ulcers that make eating and drinking difficult
- Ulcers that cause high-grade fever
What is the Treatment of Oral Ulcers in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
The treatment of mouth ulcers involves treating the underlying cause. For example, if the ulcers develop because of trauma or forceful brushing, your dentist will ask you to use a gentle toothbrush with mild brushing forces. Similarly, if the ulcers develop due to stress, they may refer you to a psychiatrist for further treatment. Usually, dentists prescribe pain medication to reduce pain and discomfort. Sometimes, antimicrobial mouthwashes or steroid tablets are also prescribed, mainly when the ulcers are recurring.
How to Prevent Oral Ulcers in Gramercy Park, NY Dentistry?
Oral ulcers can recur. However, there are measures you can take to reduce their frequency:
- Diet Management – one should avoid foods that irritate the oral cavity, such as nuts, chips, spices, salty foods, and acidic fruits (pineapples, oranges, and grapefruits). Instead, one should eat healthy foods containing essential nutrients, vitamins, green vegetables, and fruits.
- Optimal Oral Hygiene Maintenance – research has shown that oral hygiene care through brushing and flossing significantly reduces the incidence of oral ulcers.
- Healthy Diet – in some cases, oral ulcers can also occur due to an unhealthy diet. Therefore, eating a healthy diet that is t rich in vegetables and fruits and is free of acidic or irritation-causing ingredients should be eaten.
- Regular Dental Visits – regular dental checkups allow for early diagnosis and prevention of oral ulcers. Furthermore, dentists can identify the underlying cause and treat it accordingly.
Dental ulcers can be quite painful, but they are preventable and treatable. If you are experiencing recurring ulcerations in the mouth, Dr. Toksoy’s | Studio Dental NY can help you eliminate this problem. Our dentist, Dr. David Toksoy, has extensive experience treating even the most complicated dental issues. So, book an appointment today and say goodbye to painful and uncomfortable oral ulcers.
David Toksoy, DMD, BDS