Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear on the lips, tongue, inside the cheeks and on the gums. Most people get mouth ulcers at some time in their life although it is very common, particularly in women and young adults.
Most people only have mouth ulcers occasionally; some people find they keep coming back and these are called recurrent mouth ulcers.
Mouth ulcers can make you feel uncomfortable as you can’t eat, drink, talk or brush freely. Most mouth ulcers are harmless and get better by themselves within a couple of weeks, but if they become worse and persist for more than three weeks, you should see a doctor to rule out any serious underlying cause.
While the exact cause is unknown, stress, hormonal imbalance and bowel disease are some of the common factors that trigger mouth ulcers.
Here are some simple and effective tips to help you prevent or cure sore mouth ulcers faster:
- Do not eat hard foods, instead take soft foods that are easier to chew.
- Also avoid eating hot, spicy and acidic foods.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing your teeth. Brush after meals daily to keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a sore.
- Change your toothbrush after every month.
- Drink lots of orange juice as ulcers sometime occur due to lack of Vitamin C.
- Rinse and gargle with cold and then hot water alternately as this method cures the ulcers effectively.
- Gargle with fresh coconut milk three to four times a day to ease the pain and keep the mouth clean.
- Avoid chewing gum as this can cause you to bite the inside of your cheek.
- Beverages such as tea and coffee should be avoided.
- Take lots of soured milk products like yoghurt and buttermilk.
- Avoid meat and fish (animal protein), which increases acidity in the body, for a couple of weeks as this can slow down the healing process.
- Eat raw onions that contain sulphur. They can be eaten as salads as well.
- Apply a paste of Indian gooseberry directly on the ulcer for quick relief and healing.
Besides these, you can prevent getting ulcers by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly and by taking extra care of your teeth and gums.
Compiled by: Salome Phelamei