Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
A mouth ulcer is a small sore in the mucuous membranes inside themouth.
What is going on in the body?
The mouth is sensitive to many irritations. Problems in other parts of the body can also cause sores in the mouth. Although most mouth soreswill go away by themselves and are of little concern, some are much moreserious.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
There are many causes of mouth ulcers. They range from minor irritants to mouth cancer.Some of the common causes are as follows:
Women are more prone to mouth ulcers than men are,especially during pregnancyor right before a menstrual period.
Symptoms & Signs
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Mouth ulcers are generally yellow or gray in color and about 3 centimetersin size. Other signs and symptoms may include the following:
Diagnosis & Tests
How is the condition diagnosed?
Since many mouth sores look alike, diagnosis is best done by ahealth professional. Any ulcer of the mouth or lips that lasts longer than aweek should be seen by a healthcare professional.
Prevention & Expectations
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Some methods to prevent mouth ulcers include the following:
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Mouth ulcers rarely cause long-term effects, unless they become seriouslyinfected.
What are the risks to others?
Some mouth ulcers are contagious through direct contact, whileothers are not.
Treatment & Monitoring
What are the treatments for the condition?
Many mouth ulcers will go away on their own without treatment.Some measures to speed the healing process include the following:
The healthcare provider may prescribe a liquid paint,mouthwash, gel, or rinse to treat the mouth ulcer.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Rarely, medications used to treat mouth ulcers may cause an allergic reaction.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Mouth ulcers usually go away on their own or with treatment. Ifthe underlying cause of the ulcers is not treated, they may recur. A personwith recurring mouth ulcers should see a healthcare professional for furtherdiagnosis.
How is the condition monitored?
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcareprovider.
Article type: xmedgeneral