How can a dentist help to treat your mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are very common and most people will experience them at some point. Many people use over the counter medication to treat their mouth ulcers, but your dentist can also help to treat those painful sores, especially if you have frequently reoccurring mouth ulcers.
What are mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers are sores caused by the erosion or trauma of the sensitive skin inside your mouth, called the mucous membrane. They usually form on the inside of the cheeks and lips and on the tongue, although some people also develop them on the floor of their mouth. The ulcers are usually round and in severe cases can put a dampener on your appetite as chewing becomes painful. As ulcers are raw, open sores, they also often react painfully to spicy or salty food.
Reoccurring mouth ulcers are often known as Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) and is when the sufferer will get frequent mouth ulcers, sometimes more than one at a time, each lasting for up to two weeks.
Types of mouth ulcer
Mouth ulcers come in three forms;
- Minor. These are the most common and the smallest, whereas major ulcers are usually over 10mm in diameter.
- Major. These ulcers can last for months and usually leave behind a scar.
- Herpetiform. Despite the name, herpetiform ulcers are not caused by herpes. They are usually very small but develop in clusters around the tongue.
How can a dentist help?
Whether or not a dentist can treat your mouth ulcers depends on the cause of the ulcer. There are a lot of causes, including:
- Accidently biting down on your tongue or cheek
- Irritation from a sharp or misaligned tooth
- Constant rubbing against dentures
- Poor oral hygiene
- Emotional stress
- Specific conditions, including diabetes, auto-immune diseases and inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcers that don't heal after two weeks may be an indication of something serious, so speak to your dentist if your ulcer hangs around.
A check up with your dentist will help you to determine if your teeth or hygiene routine is the cause of your ulcers. If this is the case, your dentist will be able to:
- Smooth any sharp teeth.
- Reshape and refit your dentures.
- Refer you to an orthodontist to straighten any troublesome misaligned teeth.
- Help you to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
- Give your mouth a good clean to start you off on the right track.
Mouth ulcers are painful but often go away after a couple of weeks. If yours refuse to budge or keep coming back, speak to your dentist such as Geelong Implant Centre as soon as possible about possible causes.