Mouth ulcers /canker sores                                     Home

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Mouth ulcers/canker sores are a breaks/sores  in the mucous membrane that lines the   inside of  the mouth and lips. Mouth ulcers also occur on the side and surface of  the tongue. Mouth ulcers are white or yellow in color and are often very painful.

 The most common causes of  Canker sores / mouth ulcers are:

1. Sharp or broken edge of  a tooth or  dentures may cause a cut or injury on the inside of  the mouth. Food chunks, dental braces, accidental biting and tooth brushes can also cause injuries to the inside of  the mouth. These ulcers heal quickly after the cause of injury has been removed.

2. The more severe canker sores or apthous ulcers are likely to occur when the person is under stress and is triggered by a minor injury in the mouth. Immediately after the injury like a bite on the lips or inner sides of the mouth, the area becomes dark red and has a tingling sensation. After a few days, the full ulcer develops, which a few millimeters in diameter with a dark red border. These ulcers can also be caused due to lack of  Vitamin B12, folic acid or iron or viral infections.


There is no cure for mouth ulcers, only various treatment methods are available which will reduce the pain and help the canker sore heal faster.

1. Mouthwashes available with chemist shops will reduce the pain

2. Salt mixture - a mixture of salt and water will kill the bacteria, but the salt will cause a burning sensation , which is painful.

3. A slice of onion may be kept directly on the canker sore for some time

4. Over the counter  (OTC) products are gels which can be directly applied on the canker sore, especially before meals. Smyle is an Ayurvedic mouth ulcer gel with "no side effects". It is marketed by Kopran. It consists of  Khadir (Acacia catechu), Irimed (Acacia catechu) and other herbs. A 10g tube costs Rs 25 (US$0.5).  It provides temporary relief while eating meals.

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