How to Get Rid of Mouth Ulcers

added on: December 26, 2022
Heidi Brandenburg, DDS in Edina

Mouth ulcers can pop up for any number of reasons, and most of the time, they’re nothing to be worried about. But that doesn’t change the fact that they can be annoying and painful, causing you to want to find the best way to get rid of mouth ulcers quickly. Check out some of the things your dentist in Edina may recommend to ease ulcer discomfort and make them disappear. 

How to Treat an Ulcer at Home

Thankfully, there are several at-home remedies you can use to treat a mouth ulcer and alleviate pain. 

  • Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater several times a day
  • Don’t eat spicy foods
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Buy an over-the-counter topical anesthetic
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth every day

Should You See Your Dentist When You Have an Ulcer?

While most ulcers will heal on their own in about 10-14 days, if an ulcer lasts longer than three weeks, contact your dentist in Edina as soon as possible. They may recommend antiseptic treatments, steroids, or immunosuppressants. Other signs that you should see your dentist for an ulcer include: 

  • Noticeable sores with no pain
  • Really large ulcers
  • Fever
  • Ulcers on the outside of your mouth
  • Pain that doesn’t go away with the use of medication

Could An Ulcer be Oral Cancer? 

Ulcers that don’t go away may be concerning and could actually be a sign of oral cancer. Ulcers associated with oral cancer typically form under or on the tongue, so keep an eye out for those in particular and see your dentist in Edina quickly. Oral cancer can be treated successfully, especially in the early stages. 

Mouth Ulcer Symptoms

When someone has an ulcer in the mouth, they typically know it because they can feel it or see it. Ulcers are usually white, gray, or yellow in the middle and red on the outside. They can appear anywhere in the mouth including on the lips, gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and tongue. Pain and swelling are also common and can get worse when brushing your teeth or eating spicy, acidic, or salty foods. 

Are Mouth Ulcers Common? 

Yes! Mouth ulcers are incredibly common and will affect about 20% of people at least once in their lifetime. While there is no one main cause of developing an ulcer, certain people are more likely to suffer from them such as those who have: 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Diabetes
  • Celiac
  • Immune disorders
  • HIV

Even though ulcers are typically nothing serious, they could indicate another problem in the mouth. If you’re concerned about a new ulcer or have one that won’t go away, schedule a visit to your dentist in Edina