Mouth ulcers are actually quite common. Known as mouth sores, canker sores or aphthous ulcers, when you've got them you certainly know about it. Because nerves are close to this surface, they can be quite sore. Most often, they will heal in a week or two, by themselves. Sometimes, certain food and drinks can make mouth ulcers even more painful. There are some treatments you can use to speed up recovery. If you have an ulcer that doesn’t heal within three weeks, there may be a bigger underlying problem. See your dentist or GP to have it checked out.
If in doubt, check it out.
Book an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible if:
Call us if you’re experiencing pain and need emergency dental care. We’ll get you in to see us fast for an urgent appointment.
Ulcers are typically small but can also be quite large sometimes. Causing a dent on the surface, they are often grey, yellow or white in colour. Mouth ulcers can hurt, intensely at times. Eating, drinking and brushing your teeth can make them even more painful.
See your GP if ulcers are causing you extreme pain, as there may be an underlying problem. Likewise, if you have reoccurring ulcers it may indicate another issue such as a nutrient deficiency. If your ulcers do not heal after three weeks, we also recommend seeing your GP.
We all know how painful it can be to accidentally bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek. This can quickly turn into a mouth ulcer. Other ways you might develop an ulcer are bumping the inside of your mouth with your toothbrush, burning your mouth with a hot drink, wearing ill-fitting dentures or the rough edge of a tooth. The cold sore or herpes simplex virus, a food intolerance, or even an allergy can also cause mouth ulcers. Ulcers can occur with certain lifestyle or health factors, like if you are taking certain medications, you have a nutrient deficiency or have had radiotherapy. Other factors can include:
When you book at one of our dental practices for a problem with your teeth or mouth, you want answers and advice as soon as possible. That’s understandable. It’s useful to think ahead about what your dentist will need to know to diagnose and treat you.
Generally your dentist will ask you about your medical history and then thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose and neck. You may also need an x-ray, depending on what your dentist suspects might be the cause of your problem.
Your dentist may ask you some questions, such as:
Think about your answers to these questions before your appointment. Being prepared can speed up the diagnosis.