A mouth ulcer is the loss or erosion of part of the delicate tissue that lines the inside of the mouth. They often develop as a small white lesion with a red border in the mouth, on the tongue, on the lips, at the gum line and inside the cheek area. Mouth ulcers may occur as one or multiple sores, and normally they are not contagious. Most mouth ulcers are harmless and will heal themselves in a week without treatment. However, if they are painful over the counter topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouth rinses can provide pain relief. Other types of ulcers such as those caused by herpes simplex infection may require medical treatment such as an anti-viral medication. Mouth ulcers can be caused by a wide range of factors including, trauma or injury to the soft tissue inside the mouth, reactions to certain medications or chemicals, food sensitivities such as spicy, salty or acidic foods, vitamin B deficiency, stress, poor oral hygiene and infectious diseases such as herpes or thrush. To prevent getting mouth ulcers make sure to brush your teeth twice daily in a gentle circular motion, floss daily, eat a well-balanced diet and make sure that underlying conditions and diseases are managed properly.
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