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At some point we all suffered from those small but painfull sores. A mouth ulcer is the loss or erosion of part of the delicate tissue that lines the inside of the mouth (mucous membrane). Some of the causes include certain drugs, chemicals and infectious diseases such as herpes or thrush.
The most common cause is mechanical injury, such as accidentally biting your cheek. In most cases, mouth ulcers are harmless and resolve by themselves in a few days without the need for medical treatment. Aphthous ulcers are recurring ulcers with no known cause that affect around 20 per cent of the population.
Around one in five adults suffer from recurring bouts of aphthous ulcers, which are mouth ulcers with no known cause. The tongue, gums or mouth lining can be affected. Crops of these tiny off-white ulcers tend to sprout during times of emotional stress or the menstrual period.
This has led some researchers to suggest that aphthous ulcers may be caused by an immune system reaction, since the immune system is affected by stress and hormones. The underlying trigger may be a virus or an allergic reaction. Another name for aphthous ulcer is canker sore.
The range of treatment options includes:
Suggestions on how to reduce the likelihood of mouth ulcers include:
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