Oral Ulcers:

Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Common amongst adults, ulcers can be painful, particularly when eating, drinking, talking or brushing teeth.

Oral ulcers, also known as mouth ulcers, are painful sores in the mouth. Often forming as spots of greyish-white or yellow with a red, inflamed edge, oral ulcers are commonly found on the inside of the cheeks, but can also affect the tongue and gums.

Man with mouth ulcer holding his cheek

What Causes Mouth Ulcers

Ulcers occur when the delicate tissue that lines the inside of the mouth becomes damaged.

Various factors can cause oral ulcers. The most frequent causes are:

  • Injury (often caused by biting the inside of the mouth)
  • Emotional stress
  • Hormonal change
  • Virus or bacterial infection
  • Food intolerance
  • Use of certain medicines

Affecting around 20 per cent of the population, aphthous ulcers are ulcers that regularly reoccur in the mouth. Generally, there is no known cause, however, in some cases deficiencies in vitamin B, folate or iron can be to blame.

What are the Treatments for Mouth Ulcers?

Lasting for between one and two weeks, infrequent mouth ulcers are self-healing and usually harmless. However, you may need to seek medical advice if they last longer than three weeks. Oral ulcers are not contagious.

Delivering effective treatment to a mouth ulcer requires care. Avoid irritating the ulcer where possible.

Ensure you maintain good levels of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth properly with good quality toothpaste. Take extra care by using an ultra-soft toothbrush and floss between your teeth after brushing.

Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet will also help heal oral ulcers. Eat soft foods where possible and avoid overly hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods and beverages. Chewing gum is also not advised.

Mouth Ulcer Closeup


How to Prevent Oral Ulcers

Oral ulcers are hard to prevent, but you can reduce the risk of developing them. Eating a variety of wholesome foods and drinking plenty of water can help prevent ulcers while reducing stress and quitting smoking can also contribute significantly.

How bluem® Can Help Treat and Prevent Oral Ulcers

With a revolutionary, oxygen-enriched formula, bluem® products are specifically designed to improve your oral health.

Containing a high percentage of active oxygen, bluem® oral gel aids in the healing process. Use the oral gel at least twice a day after brushing your teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Ulcers

Are mouth ulcers contagious?

No, mouth ulcers are not contagious. They cannot be transferred through saliva, kissing, drinking from other people’s glass or any other physical contact. 

Are oral ulcers the same as herpes blisters?

The herpes virus of the HHV-1 type causes a cold sore in or around the mouth. It starts with a tingling sensation, followed by a blister. The blister will eventually pop and a wound will appear – this can be very painful.

Oral ulcers often have another way of appearing and there is not enough evidence to confirm that the two are connected.

However, the treatment for both conditions is the same. Use bluem® oral gel. 

If you have more questions about this subject, please ask bluem®‘s nutritionist Laura for more information: laura@bluemcare.com

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