How to Prevent Mouth Ulcers: Expert Tips and Tricks

Mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers are small sores that form on your gums, lips, tongue, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Many different things can cause them, including minor injuries, hormonal changes, and emotional stress. Many mouth ulcers heal on their own. Others may need treatment.

What is the Mouth Ulcer

Mouth Ulcers

A mouth ulcer is a sore that appears anywhere inside your mouth. These lesions are usually red, yellow, or white; you may have one or several.

You may get mouth ulcers:

  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Roof of mouth (palate)
  • Inner cheeks
  • Inner lips

These lesions are often painful and can make eating, drinking, and speaking uncomfortable.

Mouth ulcers can be worrying. However, they are not sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and you cannot get or spread them by kissing or sharing food and drinks. Aside from causing pain and discomfort, mouth ulcers are typically harmless and heal naturally within a week or two. However, some types of mouth ulcers may point to underlying health conditions such as viruses, autoimmune diseases, or gastrointestinal problems.

Also Read – All You Need to Know About Oral Mucositis

Types of  Mouth Ulcer

There are several types of mouth ulcers and sores, including:

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers):

These are the most common types of mouth ulcers. Healthcare providers aren’t exactly sure what causes them or why some people have more than others. Causes of mouth ulcers include minor injuries, such as accidentally biting your cheek, consuming acidic foods, and even experiencing stress. Canker sores are usually white or yellow with a reddish tint around the edges.

Oral lichen planus

This condition can cause itchy rashes and pale white lesions inside your mouth. Oral lichen planus is a reaction of the immune system and typically affects women aged 50 or older and individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB).


This condition causes white or brown spots inside your mouth. It develops due to excessive cell growth. Chronic irritation from habits like smoking or chewing tobacco can cause leukoplakia. However, it can also happen without a clear cause. Leukoplakia lesions are usually not cancerous.


Erythroplakia is another sign of smoking or chewing tobacco. People with erythroplakia have red spots that usually appear behind their lower front teeth or under their tongue. Unlike leukoplakia lesions, erythroplakia patches are typically precancerous or cancerous.

Oral thrush

Excessive growth of Candida albicans yeast causes this fungal infection inside your mouth. This usually happens after antibiotic treatment or when your immune system is not as strong as it usually is. Oral thrush causes red and creamy white sores and spots in the mouth.

Mouth cancer

Oral cancer lesions may appear as red or white mouth sores or ulcers. These wounds typically do not heal on their own. If you have a mouth ulcer that has not healed after three weeks, tell your healthcare provider.

Symptoms of Mouth Ulcer

Mouth ulcers are usually easy to identify. They appear as sores on your gums, tongue, inner cheeks, inner lips, or roof of the mouth.

Mouth ulcers usually occur:

  • ed around the edges.
  • White, yellow, or brown in the middle

You may develop only one ulcer or more. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swelling around the ulcers.
  • Increased pain while brushing your teeth.
  • Pain increases when eating spicy, salty, or sour food.

Causes of Mouth Ulcer

Mouth ulcers can develop due to various reasons, such as:

  • Minor tissue damage from dental work, such as cavity filling.
  • Accidentally biting your cheek or tongue.
  • Allergic reaction to certain bacteria.
  • Wearing braces or retainers.
  • Using harsh or abrasive toothpaste.
  • Eating lots of acidic foods like oranges, pineapples, and strawberries.
  • Hormonal changes during your period.
  • Tension.
  • lack of sleep.

Health conditions associated with mouth ulcers

Certain health conditions, including numerous autoimmune diseases, can also be responsible for causing mouth ulcers. These conditions may include:

  • Vitamin deficiency.
  • Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Reactive arthritis.
  • Lupus.
  • Behcet’s disease.

Diagnosis of Mouth Ulcer

A healthcare provider can diagnose oral ulcers by visual examination. If you’ve had a severe breakout, or if they suspect a specific health condition, they may order a blood test.

How to Treat Mouth Ulcer

While most mouth ulcers heal on their own, your provider may prescribe medications to help reduce discomfort. Common mouth ulcer treatments include:

  • Antiseptic gels or mouth rinses such as OraGel™ or Ambesol®.
  • Steroid ointments such as triamcinolone.
  • Immunosuppressants (in severe cases).

How to Cure Mouth Ulcer

There are some things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms of mouth sores:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times every day.
  • Make a mixture of equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water and rinse your mouth twice a day.
  • It’s best to avoid hot and spicy foods until the ulcer has healed completely.

How to Prevent Mouth Ulcer

Although you can’t prevent mouth ulcers completely, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day for best oral health.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid tissue irritation.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings are important to keep your mouth healthy.

If your healthcare provider suspects an underlying condition contributing to oral ulcers, addressing that condition may help prevent their recurrence. Discuss with your provider strategies to manage your overall health and reduce the risk of future ulcers.


Finally, mouth ulcers are small sores that can form inside your mouth for reasons like minor injury, hormonal changes, or emotional stress. While most ulcers heal on their own within a week or two, some may require treatment depending on their severity. There are different types of mouth ulcers, including canker sores, oral lichen planus, leukoplakia, erythroplakia, oral thrush, and oral cancer, each with its causes and symptoms. 

Treatment options include antiseptic gels, steroid ointments, and immunosuppressants prescribed by healthcare providers. Home remedies such as drinking plenty of water, practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding hot and spicy foods can also help reduce symptoms and promote healing. To prevent mouth ulcers, it is recommended to maintain good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and visit your dentist for regular checkups. If underlying health conditions are suspected, treating these conditions may reduce the risk of ulcers recurring.

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