Help Me With

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers whilst common, can cause unwanted pain 

Mouth ulcers (or mouth sores) are quite commonly known as painful sores on inner lips, gums, tongue or the roof of the mouth. Due to the nerves in the mouth being close to the surface, these may cause an uncomfortable feeling and pain when eating or drinking.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers?

Ulcers are typically small and circular in size, but the discomfort can be mighty. They feel as though there is a dent on the affected surface and are often white in colour.

Each case and ulcer can be different, symptoms of these include;

  • One or more painful sores on the lining of the mouth
  • Problems chewing or brushing teeth due to tenderness
  • Irritation of the sores by salty, spicy, crunchy or sour foods

Causes of Mouth Ulcers

There are quite a few contributing factors when it comes it mouth ulcers, these include;

  • Accidental biting the inside of your mouth
  • Vigorous tooth brushing
  • Burning your mouth on hot food or drink
  • Reaction to medications
  • Poor oral hygiene conditions
  • High stress
  • ‘Cold sores’
  • Vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin B12 and iron)
  • Hormonal changes such as during pregnancy

Whilst uncommon, mouth ulcers can also be a symptom of other underlying conditions, such as:

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease
  • Conditions affecting the digestive system (such as Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Coeliac disease)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Pre-cancerous lesions and Oral cancer

If you are worried about your mouth ulcers, book an appointment with your local Maven Dental practice to discuss your concerns.

What Should I Do If I Have Mouth Ulcers?

If you have mouth ulcers, there are some things you can do to relieve discomfort, as well as some things you should avoid.

  • Use a soft toothbrush
  • Eat soft foods, such as mashed potatoes and soft breads
  • Drink cool drinks
  • Visit your dentist for a check-up
  • Apply over-the-counter products to manage pain
  • Avoid eating salty, spicy, acidic, and sour foods
  • Avoid crunchy and hard foods such as potato chips or toast
  • Avoid very hot or acidic drinks, such as fruit juice
  • Avoid using chewing gum

When to see a dentist

If you are unsure about mouth ulcers, see your dentist to help identify the cause.

Book an appointment to see your local Maven Dental practice as soon as possible if:

  • You are in pain
  • Ulcer lasts longer than 2 weeks
  • Pain lasts longer than a day or two
  • If you get ulcers frequently
  • Ulcer becomes painful and red or bleeds

Are you in pain?

If you’re experiencing pain and need emergency dental care, call us and we’ll get you in fast for an emergency appointment.

What's Next?

Learn more about some possible treatment options with your local Maven Dental practice. We recommend you book an appointment with a dentist to further discuss and provide expert advice on getting your mouth on track


There are some medications that can assist with pain relief and inflammation reduction of mouth ulcers. Antiseptic mouthwashes, protective pastes and antiviral creams are all possible options. We advise you discuss this with your dentist or GP to identify the cause and see what treatment is best for you. 

Mouth ulcers generally heal on their own with a week or two. There are many over-the-counter products you can use to assist with the pain and speed up the recovery process. We advise that is mouth ulcers persist, talk to your dentist or GP to identify the cause.

Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV), and often occur on the lips, rather than on the inside of the mouth. However, cold sores can cause ulceration inside the mouth and can look like other types of mouth ulcers.

Mouth ulcers and cold sores have different treatments and should be treated differently. As cold sores are caused by a virus, specific antiviral treatment is advised. We advise you to seek advice from your dentist or GP to find the best solution for you.

Unlike cold sores, mouth ulcers are not contagious and cannot be spread through sharing food or kissing.

Mouth ulcers generally heal on their own with a week or two, but this can be sped up with the use of over-the-counter products.

We understand that some people feel anxious about visiting the dentist.  At Maven Dental, we work hard to make you feel comfortable and to create environments that feel safe and welcoming.  We also believe that communication is key and invite you to share any concerns you may have prior or upon arrival.

While everyone is different, we’ve created a list of tips that can help to reduce anxiety related to dentist visits – read more