- 1 What causes mouth ulcers?
- 2 Recurrent mouth ulcers (Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS))
- 3 Chronic mouth ulcers or persistent mouth ulcers?
- 4 Mouth ulcers in children. Best remedy for mouth ulcers
- 5 Causes of mouth ulcers in adults
- 6 Best treatment for mouth ulcers. What to use for mouth ulcers?
- 7 How to prevent mouth ulcers?
What causes mouth ulcers?
An inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth cavity when a severe burning, painful and non-healing ulcers appear on the internal part of the lips and cheeks, and tongue and gingivae, may have many causes. Doctors prefer dividing all inflammatory diseases of the mucous membrane of the mouth cavity into mechanical and infectious.
The mechanical ulcers are caused by the accidental traumas during meals, hot food, or other factors. These ulcers usually pass within 7 days, without any medications.
And there are also infectious ulcers that are caused by bacteria or viruses on the mucous membrane. As a rule, these ulcers appear at the moment of the low immunity and their treatment without medical aid may take a long period.
The main causes of the mouth ulcers are as following:
The ulcers are not dangerous themselves for the human health but they cause a severe discomfort and bother eating, drinking, and caring of the mouth cavity. The toothpaste, hot drinks, or spicy food may cause bleeding of the ulcer and pain.
The ulcers may grow in size, shape, and even merge into one big wound. But the biggest problem appears when the ulcers are kept within 3 and more weeks and become chronic.
Recurrent mouth ulcers (Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS))
The frequent appearance of the ulcers in the mouth is a sign of aphthous stomatitis in 90% of cases. In case of the mechanical ulcers, the relapses are impossible as well as during the infectious etymology of this pathology.
A relapsing aphthous stomatitis is a common state when round or oval painful ulcers reoccur on the mucous membrane of the mouth cavity. This disease is not very seldom, and according to the statistics of the dentists, the disease is observed in 14-17% of adult population.
Unfortunately, causes of the disease are not fully known, and the active discussions are hold at the moment. But most experts state that an immune system places leading role in the pathogenesis of this disease.
The relapsing aphthous stomatitis is characterized by the decrease of the immunological reaction and a disorder of the non-specific protection, and a cause of the development is sites of the chronic viral infection in the body. As a rule, this viral infection is herpes simplex virus and herpes virus type 4.
The relapses of aphthous stomatitis appear in the setting of the outbreak of the labial herpes or mononucleosis. Besides the herpetic rash and blisters, a patient has aphthous ulcers that are easily defined: they are formed inside the mucous membrane of the mouth cavity, cheeks, and lips, are covered with white film and do not contain the transparent liquid. The aphthous stomatitis is often confused with cold sore because these symptoms appear at the same time.
Aphthous mouth ulcers pictures
Also, one of the possible causes of the development of the relapsing ulcers are inflammatory diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract: esophagitis, gastritis, chronic stressful situations, infectious diseases of the mouth cavity, pharyngitis, and tonsillitis.
The aphthous stomatitis often relapses in children due to the sore throat and an inflammation of tonsils. A relapse is probably possible because the bacteria activity grows in the mouth cavity, and it favors the appearance of the immune reaction in the form of the ulcers.
Chronic mouth ulcers or persistent mouth ulcers?
Scientists still do not know the mechanism of the ulcer formation in the mouth. Even if we assume that it is an immune reaction to the activity of the virus or infection, it is unclear why ulcers appear.
The nervous regulation, allergic and autoimmune mechanisms take a significant place in the development of the chronic mouth ulcers. Neither doctors, nor patients can detect when the disease goes into chronic one. In case of the chronic type, the constant ulcers are unlikely in the mouth. The disease will have relapsing cycles that often appear in autumn and spring. Also, the outbreak of the chronic type of the disease is possible during the aggravation of the herpetic infection.
However, there are patients who complain of the constant ulcers in the mouth. These patients are diagnosed the low immunological reaction and a disorder of the nonspecific protection the causes of which are sites of the chronic infection in the body.
As the immunity is low, the ulcers cannot heal completely, and after the healing of the open ulcer, new ones may appear instead of it or next to it. These cycles can be kept within a long period and appear 5-6 times per year. It means that a person permanently fights the aphthous stomatitis of the unknown origin.
Moreover, a patient may have other symptoms during the prolonged numerous aphtha: the increase of the body temperature, weakness, and fatigue. In this case, the disease needs a medical control.
Many people close their eyes to the constant ulcers in the mouth because none dysfunction is felt in the body. However, as a result of it, a prolonged decrease of the immunity or prolonged infectious processes may cause severe disorders. In fact, the ulcers in the mouth are the symptoms of the severe pathologies that should be detected and removed.
Mouth ulcers in children. Best remedy for mouth ulcers
There are two main causes why the mouth ulcers appear in children:
- Outbreak of herpes;
A white coat is formed in the mouth in a child suffering from candidiasis, and the body temperature is slightly increased. The ulcers appear with the white coat, these ulcers bring discomfort but they are easily treated. Having the antifungal therapy, it is possible to remove the ulcers.
The ulcers may be kept for a long period during the outbreak of the herpes. The matter is that herpes inhibits the immunity, and it is a cause of the appearance of the ulcers in the mouth of children. The protective properties of the body may be inhibited even after the disappearance of the herpes symptoms, and the ulcers may be kept for up to 14 days.
If the low child’s immunity is not able to quickly neutralize the herpetic ulcers, they can be chronic and turn into aphthous stomatitis that heals long. It is considered that the aphthous stomatitis usually appears in children at the age of 4-5, and then it may aggravate at any time within the whole life.
The herpetic stomatitis is rather a cruel disease, and children often refuse to eat because of the painful sensations in the mouth. So, it is better to build the treatment of the ulcers in the mouth on the use of medications with anesthetics. Ointment will do for it that are used during the emergence of tooth in children. They contain anesthetic agents, provide the anti-inflammatory and antipruritic action. This way, it will be more comfortable for a baby to eat, the discomfort will be lower, and a child will have a good sleep.
As to the baseline treatment, general recommendations will not do here. The treatment depends on a cause of the development of the ulcers in the mouth. If it is a herpetic infection, immunomodulators and antiviral products are needed. If a cause is aphthous stomatitis of the unknown origin, the immunomodulators will do but the antiviral drugs should not be taken.
Dr. Arvind Mahadevan, MD: If the stomatitis is related to the herpes virus and does not have a bacterial origin, Acyclovir, Valacyclovir (Valtrex), or another antiviral drug is recommended to be prescribed.
The sedative products will not do for children, and therefore the treatment is based on the use of safe and effective products that can control the immune reaction.
Causes of mouth ulcers in adults
A probability of the occurrence the aphthous stomatitis in adults is higher because there are more factors that may cause this disease.
- Cigarette smoking;
- Irregular hygiene of the mouth cavity;
- Bad habits reducing the immunity;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Infection of the mouth cavity during the dental interventions;
- The use of medications reducing the saliva flow or influencing on the microbiological flora of the mouth cavity;
- Chronic diseases, and others.
Adults have the same symptoms of the disease like in children. However, a duration of the ulcers of the mucous membranes may be shorter because the immune system is quickly restored, and there is a possibility to use intensive medical products.
Also, adults often neglect the cooking of fruit and vegetables before consumption, do not wash their hands after public places. In case of the chronic stomatitis, a little of bacteria on the mucous membrane causes a development of the ulcers.
Best treatment for mouth ulcers. What to use for mouth ulcers?
As we have said, the ulcer treatment in adults is more intensive, with the use of the intensive medications.
- If the pathological process bothers eating, speaking, and creates a serious discomfort for a patient, a doctor may prescribe local pain management medications containing anesthetics, or non-steroid anti-inflammatory products in the pills.
- The antiseptic sprays effectively sterilize and provide a light anesthetic action. They can be used after meals or for the night.
- Antiviral drugs. If the stomatitis is related to the herpes virus and does not have a bacterial origin, Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, or another antiviral drug is recommended to be prescribed.
- In case of the ulcers of the fungal origin, Fluconazole is prescribed, and antibiotics are used for the bacterial one.
- Sedative and anti-histamine drugs will help to reduce the symptoms: inflammation, itching, pain; these drugs will help to fall asleep faster during severe annoying ulcers.
The immunostimulants are an integral part of the treatment in children and adults. Any drug that has been approved by the FDA and has an effective base may be selected.
As you see, the ulcer treatment in the mouth in adults is more variable and effective. Strong NSAIDS help to completely reduce the inflammation and pain. But this treatment comes down to the inhibition of the disease symptoms. In order to effectively get rid of the chronic and relapsing ulcers in the mouth, it is necessary to find a cause and prevent the stomatitis. Otherwise, the symptomatic treatment will help just for a while, and the ulcers will return.
How to prevent mouth ulcers?
A prognosis of aphthous stomatitis and herpetic ulcers in the mouth is good. However, in cases of the late visit to a doctor or during self-treatment, the disease develops a resistance to the therapy. Due to this, a rate of the efficiency of the medicamental therapy consists in the increase of the remission period. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the development of the ulcers at early stages, and the preventive measures should be taken during the predisposition to the ulcers.
A prophylaxis of the ulcers in the mouth consists in detecting and treatment of the pathology of the gastro-intestinal tract, nervous, endocrine systems, and others, and also in removing the sites of the chronic infections including in the mouth cavity.
It is necessary to strictly follow the regimen of work and rest, conditioning, rational diet rich in proteins, mineral ingredients and vitamins. It is very important to increase the protective functions of the body during the prophylaxis. The better the immunity is, the less probability of the development of the ulcers and stomatitis is. Moreover, the recommendations go for not only aphthous and herpetic stomatitis, but also other types of the disease.
It is very important to follow the hygiene of the mouth cavity and use products for mouth care approved by your dentist. In case of the frequent tooth brushing, or using toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), the saliva flow is reduced, and it favors a dehydration of the mucous membrane, and a formation of the dental plaques. This action leads to the increased sensitivity of epithelium of the mouth cavity to the external factors, so that stomatitis appears.