Mouth ulcers are small sores that form on your gums, lips, inner cheeks or palate (roof of the mouth). They can be triggered by several different factors, including minor injuries, hormonal changes and emotional stress. Mouth ulcers aren’t contagious and they go away on their own but there are treatments to help ease pain and discomfort.
A mouth ulcer is a sore that develops in the soft tissue lining of your gums, tongue, inner cheeks, lips or palate. They’re usually yellow or red, and they can be quite painful. Mouth ulcers may also be called aphthous ulcers or canker sores.
Mouth ulcers are easy to spot. They usually appear as sores on your lips, gums, tongue, inner cheeks or roof of the mouth. While red around the edges, mouth ulcers are typically white, yellow or gray in the center. You may only develop one ulcer, or there might be more. Other symptoms could include:
The exact cause of mouth ulcers is unknown. But there are several factors that can contribute to the development of these sores:
While most mouth ulcers heal on their own, topical treatments may be prescribed to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of complications. Common mouth ulcer treatments include antiseptic gels, steroid ointments or medicated mouth rinses. In severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe immunosuppressants.
There are also several things you can do at home to relieve discomfort associated with oral lesions. Here are some tips for healing a mouth ulcer: