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  • Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Oral ulcers

Oral ulcers are small, painful sores that appear inside the mouth. They can be found on the tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks, and on the soft palate. They are usually round or oval in shape and have a red border with a yellow or white center.


There are several different types of oral ulcers, including:

  • Minor ulcers: These are the most common type of oral ulcer and are usually less than 1 cm in diameter. They typically heal within one to two weeks.

  • Major ulcers: These are larger than minor ulcers, and can be more than 1 cm in diameter. They can take up to six weeks to heal.

  • Herpetiform ulcers: These are multiple, small oral ulcers that can be found in clusters. They are typically less than 1 cm in diameter.


The causes of oral ulcers are not fully understood, but some common triggers include infections, recent fevers, stress, injury, certain foods, and certain medications.


Treatment for oral ulcers typically involves relieving the pain and promoting healing. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to alleviate pain. Topical creams and gels, such as those containing benzocaine or amlexanox, can also be applied to the ulcer to help numb the area and promote healing.


In addition to treatment, there are also ways to help prevent oral ulcers. These include:

  • Avoiding foods that trigger ulcers, such as acidic or spicy foods

  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol

  • Managing stress through exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques

  • Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly


If you have concerns about oral ulcers, consult your doctor for an evaluation. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.

It's also important to mention that in some cases, if you have recurrent oral ulcers, you should consult your doctor for further evaluation and management.


Natural Home Remedies for Oral ulcers


Oral ulcers can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but there are some natural home remedies that may help to alleviate pain and promote healing. These remedies are generally safe and can be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by your doctor.

  1. Saltwater rinse: Rinsing the mouth with a mixture of warm water and salt can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and rinse the mouth for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat as needed.

  2. Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that may help to reduce pain and promote healing of oral ulcers. Apply aloe vera gel directly to the ulcer using a cotton swab.

  3. Baking soda: Baking soda has an alkaline pH that can help to neutralize acidity and promote healing of oral ulcers. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a cup of warm water and use as a mouthwash.

  4. Honey: Honey has antibacterial properties that may help to reduce pain and promote healing of oral ulcers. Apply a small amount of honey directly to the ulcer using a cotton swab.

  5. Chamomile: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce pain and promote healing of oral ulcers. Brew a cup of chamomile tea and use as a mouthwash or apply the cooled tea bag directly to the ulcer.

  6. Milk of Magnesia: Milk of magnesia has a neutralizing effect on acidity and can help to reduce pain and promote healing of oral ulcers. Apply a small amount of milk of magnesia directly to the ulcer using a cotton swab.


It's important to note that some of these remedies may not be suitable for everyone, and if your symptoms persist or worsen, you should consult your doctor. Also, it's always a good idea to consult with your doctor before trying any new treatment especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

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