Know More About Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers (also called oral ulcers/ canker sores) are small open wounds inside the oral cavity caused by a physical damage to the thin mucous membrane lining the mouth. These sores may occur on the inner walls of the cheeks, on the tongue (tongue ulcers), inside of the lips, inside the mouth and, at time, even in the throat. Mouth ulcers first appear as blisters or tiny bubbles but gradually fester into open wounds and patches that are capable of causing extreme agony to the patient.
Mouth ulcers are caused by a physical trauma to the mouth. This trauma may be self-inflicted e.g. accidentally chewing/biting of the cheek or tongue while eating food, habit of biting the inner side of the lip with teeth, or over-enthusiastic brushing action which causes damage to the mucous membrane. At times, dental work may also cause damage to the mucous membrane, if the dentist is not cautious with his tools, though they usually do apply a protective layer of jelly to provide protection against accidental injuries.
Certain chemicals are also capable of causing damage to the mucous membrane of the mouth. Such chemicals, including aspirin, alcohol, etc., weaken the inner lining of the mouth and exuviate the membrane, thus creating ulcers. A chemical called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which is an active ingredient found in most toothpastes, has been found to be a major ulcer causing chemical.
Those who are being given chemotherapy to cure them form cancer are also at a greater risk of mouth ulcers, especially if their immune system is not very strong. Such people need to be given special instruction regarding oral care and hygiene when they are administered chemotherapy.
Infection may also be a cause of canker sores. Fungal, viral or bacterial infection can cause small blisters to appear on the inner wall of the mouth, which gradually develop into ulcers and cause extreme agony and discomfort to the patient. The most common virus that causes mouth ulcers is Herphex simplex virus. A person who gets infected by this virus first experiences pain and later gets open sores inside the mouth.
The basic causes for tongue ulcers are more or less similar to those of mouth ulcers. They are also caused by damage to the tongue which could be sharp eatables, accidental biting, etc. People with weak immunity are also more vulnerable to tongue ulcers. Since their body can not fend itself against minor ailments and diseases, their cells and tissues get damaged, which causes lacerations inside the mouth. These lacerations later develop into tongue ulcers.
In case of mouth ulcers particularly, prevention is the best cure. Take care and avoid getting such ulcers in the first place. A few simple precautions can actually go a long way in preventing the outbreak of painfully open sores in the mouth. Make sure not to include any foods with sharp edges and to eat slowly, in a relaxed manner. This will help prevent accidental injuries to the inner mucous membrane. If you fear that these sores are the outcome of dietary deficiencies, take supplements in adequate quantities to make up for these inadequacies. Also, adopt a healthy lifestyle and take nutritious foods so that your body has a strong immune system that can fight back minor infections. If mouth and tongue ulcers recur at regular intervals in spite of taking due precautions, expert medical opinion should be sought. It is better to cure such ulcers in the initial stages, if precautions fail to prevent their outbreak.