WHAT ARE ORAL ULCERS?
Canker sores or mouth ulcers are usually small, round or oval shaped, painful, red ulcers in the oral cavity on the mucous membrane.
Location may be inside of cheeks, floor of mouth, gums or tongue. The ulcers usually start appearing in childhood and resolve by thirties.
TYPES OF MOUTH ULCERS:
MINOR ULCERS are 2-7mm in diameter and usually resolve early within a fortnight.
MAJOR ULCERS are big, deep ulcers with irregular edged with punched out appearance and raised edges and take several weeks to heal causing much pain.
HERPETIFORM ULCERS are very small pinhead sized ulcers which appear in cluster and are many in number.
SYMPTOMS & CAUSES
Symptoms usually include:
- presence of sore,
- round or oval shaped,
- white/grey at center and red at edges,
- painful ulcers.
If the ulcers are big and lasting since long time can cause fever also and some times enlarged lymph nodes too.
- A sharp tooth or braces or ill fitting dentures may cause recurrent trauma in the oral cavity and can form an ulcer at the site of trauma.
- Stress or tissue injury can also cause simple mouth ulcers which heal quickly.
- Citrus or acidic food items can also cause mouth ulcers.
- Nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid can cause mouth ulcers.
- Diseases like crohn’s disease, coeliac disease also have mouth ulcers.
- Too much acidic regurgitation can also cause mouth ulceration.
- Smoking can also cause mouth ulcers.
- Chewing tobacco, Betel nuts, paan can also cause ulceration.
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
- Typical appearance of the ulcers in mouth is enough for diagnosis.
- Biopsy can be done in long standing ulcers to rule out malignancy.
- Treatment include receiving the pain by painkillers.
- Removing the underlying cause.
- Treatment of the underlying disease if sought for.
- Removal of sharp tooth or denture and braces.
- Advice on maintaining oral hygiene.
- Supplements in case of deficiencies.
- Advice on quitting smoking, tobacco chewing, paan, betel nuts etc.
- Advice on maintaining the oral hygiene.
- Ask patient to take simple food which is not too spicy, acidic or sour.
- Ask patient to drink lots of water.
- Ask the patient to use soft bristle tooth brush.
- Give supplements in case of deficiency.
Homeopathic management includes the above advise along with appropriate medicine based on the symptoms of the case.
Medicines like BORAX, NITRIC ACID, SULPHUR, GRAPHITES, MERC SOL, NATRUM MUR, SULPHURIC ACID etc are very useful in treatment of ulcers based on the symptoms.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Go for a biopsy if the ulcers last for long time and is not healing.
- Take normal healthy diet.
- Drink lots of water.
- Maintain oral hygiene.
- Quit smoking, betel nuts, paan etc.
- Take supplements in case of deficiency.
- Don't use hard bristle toothbrush.
- Don't eat much spicy, acidic, sour food.