The most common type of ulcer in the mouth are chronic recurrent oral aphthous ulcers. About 10% of the population get aphthous ulcers. While annoying to have, most aphthous ulcers heal spontaneously in 4 -14 days. Some people get scarring from their ulcers adn in a small percentage of cases ulcers can last for up to 6 weeks.
A long present ulcer should alway be seen by a health professional.
What causes aphthous ulcers?
As with many minor irriating characteristics is seems to be largely your parents fault! (About 40% of sufferers report a positive family history). People also blame deficiencies in: Iron, folic acid or vitamin B12
Although there are no good studies on diet and managing ulcers is seems that many people report and association with fruit, fruit jucies, acidic food, salty foods, tomatoes and spices like pepper, paprika and curry.
Some people find it is helpful to avoid using dental products that have sodiym lauryl sulfate. It has been demonstrated that SLS-free toothpaste significantly reduced the healing time and pain. (example - See the BIOTENE toothpastes).
Using chlorhexidine mouthwash or a triclosan mouthwash have been demonstrated to increase healing time.
Topical Coriticosteroids also can be used to manage ulcers. See more information on mydr.com.au
What else could my ulcer be?
Here are just some of the conditions that will be considered:
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Dr George Politis B.D.Sc (University of Melbourne) F.I.C.C.D.E.
Dr Khanh Nguyen B.D.Sc (Hons) (University of Queensland)