Small mouth ulcers: Home remedies also help against aphthous ulcers
Most people have suffered from canker sores. The painful changes in the mucous membrane in the mouth are now occurring increasingly in autumn. Health experts explain what you should avoid with small ulcers and what can be done about them.
Inflammatory mucous membrane disease
Aphthae (also known as aphthae) are the most common non-contagious inflammatory diseases of the oral mucosa, according to experts. The usually very painful ulcers can appear on the cheek, on the palate, but also on the tongue. "The reddened mucous membrane defects can be very small, but also the size of a lens," writes the Dental Health Working Group (AGZ) on its website. "They are often covered with a whitish yellow liquid," said the experts. Aphthae often first appear in childhood, but then come back throughout life. There are a number of things that those affected should consider.
The causes are still largely unknown
The causes of aphthae are still largely unknown. Bacteria and viruses are suspected as causing the disease. Certain risk factors can promote the development of ulcers.
As the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) explains on their website, aphthous ulcers occur more often in spring and autumn in connection with colds.
With strong sun exposure, during menstruation, under stress, with gastrointestinal disturbances, after bite or pressure when brushing teeth, with instruments of the dentist or due to food intolerances, small ulcers can also occur.
According to the TK, certain underlying diseases also promote the appearance of canker sores. Among these are anemia, deficiency of folic acid, vitamin B3 and iron or a disturbance in vitamin B12 intake.
In addition, a herpes infection, hand-foot-mouth disease or severe intestinal inflammation can be associated with canker sores.
"An hereditary disposition also seems to play a role," said the TK.
Aphthae usually heal after a few days
As the health insurance company explains, about 80 percent of aphthae have a diameter of less than one centimeter. They usually heal after four to fourteen days.
Large aphthae, which make up around ten percent, can have a diameter of one to three centimeters. They often persist for ten days to six weeks.
And another ten percent of those affected have numerous small, herpetiform aphthous ulcers that can be found throughout the oral cavity.
Keep complaints low
Health experts say that most aphthous ulcers do not require treatment. However, those affected can do a lot to keep the symptoms low.
Since aphthae cause a feeling of disturbance and you are therefore constantly tempted to play with the small ulcers with your tongue or chew on them lightly with your teeth, you should be careful not to do this.
Otherwise, the open spaces can ignite more and then hurt even more.
In addition, foods that may trigger the aphthous should be avoided.
For example, hard foods such as rusks, hard bread and nuts, as well as salty or acidic foods such as citrus or pineapple or spicy foods, as well as alcoholic or carbonated beverages, can promote the development of aphthae in some people.
Cool and soft foods like yogurt, on the other hand, can relieve the pain.
It may also be helpful not to use toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Home remedies can also help
If you have severe symptoms, you can contact a doctor who may prescribe mouthwashes, ointments, gels or sprays.
For example, chlorhexidine rinses, chamomile extracts, various preparations containing local anesthetics or a salicylic acid cream are suitable.
For stubborn cases, the doctor can also prescribe medication that contains cortisone.
There are also over-the-counter medications available, but health experts recommend prescription medications.
Home remedies can also help: "To alleviate the symptoms, you can rinse with sage, chamomile or marshmallow tea," writes the AGZ.
"Dabbing the aphtha with chamomile extract or myrrh tincture can also provide relief," said the experts. (ad)