If you’re one of the estimated 20% of people who happen to develop mouth ulcers, you know just how uncomfortable and painful they can be. The good news is that ulcers in the mouth tend to go away on their own within about two weeks, are usually harmless, and don’t necessarily need treatment from your dentist in Chapel Hill. However, naturally, you may be wondering what caused an ulcer in the first place.
An ulcer in the mouth is one of those things that may not have a known cause, but we do know that there are things that can contribute to an ulcer developing such as ill-fitting dentures or accidentally biting your cheek or tongue. On the other hand, if there is no obvious case of an injury, ulcers can develop as a result of:
Additionally, people with certain medical conditions may be at increased risk of getting an ulcer. Some of the medical conditions that can contribute to ulcer development include:
If you have one of these conditions, make sure to tell your dentist in Chapel Hill.
Many times, ulcers and their symptoms can be treated at home by rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water a few times a day, avoiding spicy foods, or using an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. For severe ulcers, you are prescribed corticosteroids or antiseptic treatments.
While an ulcer in the mouth can be a sign of oral cancer, this usually only applies to a few cases. Ulcers associated with oral cancer are most commonly under or on the tongue, but they can develop anywhere in the mouth. While any type of cancer is certainly concerning, oral cancer can often be treated successfully, especially when it’s caught early.
Having an ulcer in your mouth can certainly be concerning, be rest assured that oftentimes it will go away on its own and typically isn’t a sign of a larger problem. However, if you’re experiencing an ulcer that’s stuck around longer than three weeks or are simply worried about any ulcer, see your dentist in Chapel Hill. We’re always happy to help and believe that extra precaution is better than waiting too long.