Most cases of mouth ulcers do not require specific treatment since they eventually heal on their own within a span of 10-14 days. On the other hand, treatment might be needed if the ulcers are severe, sore or disrupts with daily activities especially with eating.
If the mouth ulcers might be due to an underlying health condition, the individual might require further assessment so that the condition can be properly treated.
For mild cases of mouth ulcers, there are steps to be familiar with to allow the ulcers to heal more quickly.
- When brushing your teeth, it is recommended to use a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Avoid foods that are spicy and sharp as well as beverages that are acidic until the mouth ulcers heal. It is best to stick with soft foods that are easier to chew on.
- Avoid the potential factors that might be responsible for triggering the mouth ulcers such as specific foods.
- The level of stress must be reduced by engaging in activities that are relaxing such as meditation, yoga or exercise.
In case the mouth ulcer has a specific physical cause such as an accidental bite, it will naturally heal once the cause has been dealt with. Once a sharp tooth or filling caused the ulcer, a dentist can repair it.
If needed, the doctor or dentist will prescribe medications that can ease the symptoms. Some of these treatments are readily available over-the-counter but consulting a doctor or dentist is still a must to ensure that the right one is given. Remember that some treatments are not suitable for children or pregnant women as well as those who are breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant.
Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation. They help minimize the pain linked with mouth ulcers and promote faster healing. These medications are readily available in various forms including sprays and mouthwashes.
A doctor should be consulted before using any corticosteroid medications for mouth ulcers among children below 12 years old.
An antimicrobial mouthwash can be used to eliminate viruses, bacteria or fungi that might infect the mouth ulcers especially those that are painful in which the individual could not brush properly. In addition, it can also help promote faster healing.
Chlorhexidine gluconate is the commonly prescribed mouthwash but a variety of sprays and gels are also available. This is typically used two times in a day. After this is used, the teeth might appear covered with a brownish stain. Take note that the staining is not permanent and the teeth will return to its normal color after the treatment is completed.
For mouth ulcers that are painful, the doctor might prescribe a pain medication that is applied directly on the ulcer. These are available as sprays, mouthwashes, gels and lozenges.
The doctor usually prescribes benzydamine which is available as a spray or mouthwash. Nevertheless, the mouthwash is not suitable for children below 12 years old and must not be used for more than 7 days in a row.