Mouth Ulcers Symptoms and Cures
Common mouth ulcers are small, grey sores with an inflamed mucus membrane. They vary from match-head-size to 1/5 in (0.5 cm) across and are found on the gums, roof of the mouth, under the tongue and inside the lips and cheeks. They are triggered by infections, poor immunity, stress, accidental damage from broken teeth and scalding foods.
- Small, grey saucer-shaped sores
- A surrounding red tender halo
- Pain on talking and eating
- Large ulcers cause pain in the underlying muscle and enlarged lymph glands
Vitamins and Minerals
Cabbage juice speeds the healing of mouth and peptic ulcers. Sip 7-10 fl. oz. (200-300 ml) daily, freshly juiced with a handful of mint leaves for added healing and improved flavor. Hold each mouthful in contact with the ulcers for as long as you can before swallowing.
The three major antioxidant vitamins are vitamins A, C and E all work together to boost immunity and strengthen mucus membranes. Beta-carotene, from which the body manufactures vitamin A, is found in brightly colored fruit and vegetables, and one carrot, for instance, yields almost twice the recommended daily amount (RDA) of beta carotene (1000 mcg). As much as 10-40 percent of beta-carotene is lost in cooking (depending on the method) so eat fruit and vegetables raw, or juice them.
Vitamin C (RDA 60 mg) is found in citrus fruit, but the acid can aggravate mouth ulcers. Broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi fruit and peppers are other good source of vitamin C. Vitamin E (RDA 10 mg) heals mouth ulcers: take a 100-200 mg daily supplement and dab pure oil on ulcers as well. Found in vegetable oils, whole wheat, red cabbage, broccoli and nuts, vitamin E works best when coupled with selenium (RDA 50-100 mcg), which is present in bran, offal, seafood, wheat germ, egg yolk and garlic.
Cold Sores, Canker Sores and Lysine
Cold sores in the mouth are caused by the herpes simplex virus that most of us have in our bodies. Cold sores can develop in the mouth, and around the outside of the mouth. Canker sores are small ulcers that can form on the soft tissue of your mouth, often at the base of the gums. The difference between the two is that a canker sore will only develop inside of the mouth.
The amino acid lysine can help keep both types of sores from occurring and lysine can also help them heal quicker if you do get them. Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means the body cannot make it and we have to get it from our food or in supplement form.
It is best to eat plenty of foods that do contain a good amount of lysine such as beef, chicken, fish and dairy. If you are a vegan, you can get lysine from tempeh, lentils, black beans, quinoa, soy products like miso, and pumpkin seeds.
The amino acid arginine can counteract lysine, which are usually meat and other animal foods.
You can also take a lysine supplement of about 500 mg per day, or more per day while you have a cold or canker sore.
Boil a handful of carrot leaves in 10 fl. oz. (300 ml) of water for 5 minutes; cool slightly and use as a gargle and mouthwash. Or rinse the mouth with 4 teaspoons (20 ml) aloe vera juice mixed with boiled water 3 times a day.
Dip a cotton bud in pure clove or tea tree oil and apply neat to ulcers several times a day. Add a single drop of essential oil of rose, clary sage, geranium or savory to a tumbler of tepid water and use as a mouthwash.
Take 4 times a day for up to 5 days: Arsenicum 6c for a dry and burning mouth, and ulcers soothed by warm water; Mercurius 6c for stinging ulcers chiefly on the tongue, a coated tongue, bad breath, and loose, decaying teeth; and Nitric ac. 6c for painful ulcers on the soft palate (back of the roof of the mouth), with excessive saliva and bad breath.
Antiseptic mouthwashes and gels can be used to help relieve ulcer pain and promote healing. Some mouthwashes and gels may even contain a small amount of local anesthetic. In more serious outbreaks or in recurring cases, your doctor may also prescribe a course of vitamins, painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and/or a short course of a steroid such as prednisone.
- Treat colds, flu and feverish illnesses as soon as they appear.
- Boost your immune defense system with lots of fruit and vegetables and extra vitamin C.
- Avoid acidic, spicy or scalding foods, smoking, careless brushing and ill-fitting dentures.
- Combat stress with yoga, relaxation, meditation and extra B vitamins.
- Use a mouthwash twice daily.
- Seek medical advice to rule out more serious causes such as blood disorders, shingles or side effects of drugs.
- Very large or painful ulcers, or ulcers that persist despite treatment, require medical attention.