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Mouth ulcers can be incredibly uncomfortable, and in some cases, they can even make it difficult to eat or talk. While most mouth ulcers will eventually go away on their own, treatment will help them clear up faster, so you can eat and drink comfortably. At Mill Dam Dental Care, we offer state-of-the-art ulcer treatment for our Virginia Beach patients. Here’s what you need to know about the treatment for mouth ulcers.

What is a Mouth Ulcer?

Mouth ulcers are small sores that develop on the gums, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or inner lips. They happen when the sensitive tissues inside the mouth erode or are damaged, and they can be very painful. While small mouth ulcers usually go away on their own within a few weeks, larger mouth ulcers will require treatment.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers?

There are several internal and external factors that can cause mouth ulcers. Here are some of the most common causes of mouth ulcers.

  • Biting Your Cheek: In many cases, mouth ulcers develop as the result of a simple accident. If you accidentally bite your cheek while eating or talking, it could damage the skin and cause an ulcer.
  • Irritation From Dental Care: In some cases, ulcers develop as a side effect of other dental treatments. For example, brushing with a particularly abrasive toothbrush could accidentally cause ulcers. You might also develop ulcers as a result of wearing braces or clear aligners for the first time, although these will usually clear up as your mouth adjusts to the treatment. We’ll always take steps to minimize tissue irritation during cleanings and other dental appointments.
  • Hot or Acidic Foods: Eating extremely hot or extremely acidic foods can damage the tissues in your mouth and lead to ulcers.
  • Infections: Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections have the potential to cause mouth ulcers. One of the most well-known examples of this is the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores. It’s also possible to develop ulcers as an allergic reaction to bacteria. If you have an autoimmune condition, this could also make you more prone to developing mouth ulcers.
  • Stress or Health Changes: Excess stress, fluctuating hormone levels, and changes to your sleep schedule can all cause mouth ulcers.
Treatment for Mouth Ulcers Pain

Treatment for Mouth Ulcers

At Mill Dam Dental Care, we use the Deka carbon dioxide laser to treat severe mouth ulcers. This advanced laser is more effective than the diode lasers that many other dentists use. It works by vaporizing damaged tissue to cleanly remove it and prevent the ulcer from coming back.

The laser also disinfects, killing any bacteria or viruses in the ulcer. It provides pain relief by treating the nerve endings in the exposed skin. We also use topical anesthetic during treatment to keep you comfortable. Since the laser is very precise, it won’t affect the rest of your mouth.

In addition to the Deka laser, we may also prescribe topical treatments to soothe the ulcer as it heals. These treatments could include steroid ointments, numbing gels, or antiseptic rinses. In rare cases, we may also prescribe immunosuppressants.

While it’s possible for mouth ulcers to go away on their own, don’t hesitate to seek treatment if the ulcers are interfering with your daily life. Professional treatment will drastically speed up the healing process to keep you comfortable. You should also seek medical attention if your ulcer is showing signs of infection, or if you develop a fever.

How to Prevent and Manage Mouth Ulcers

If you develop an uncomfortable mouth ulcer, there are things you can do to manage the pain at home until you can seek medical treatment. These include:

  • Avoid certain foods. Spicy, sour, and salty foods can all irritate your ulcers and cause pain.
  • Rinse your mouth. There are several different types of mouth rinses that can soothe ulcers. A gentle saltwater rinse helps to manage inflammation. A even mix of hydrogen peroxide and water can also help by disinfecting the ulcer to speed up the healing process.
  • Keep your mouth clean. Be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine, even if it’s uncomfortable. Brush twice a day and floss after meals. If you don’t keep your mouth clean, leftover plaque from meals will start to build up and attract bacteria, which could make the ulcers worse.

Ulcers are difficult to prevent. However, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of developing them. These include:

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is an essential part of good oral hygiene.
  • Treat underlying health conditions. If you have underlying health conditions that could be causing your ulcers, talk to your dentist and doctor about treatment options. Be diligent with taking any necessary medications or using topical treatment.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. This will minimize the chances of damaging the tissues inside your mouth. While it’s important to brush thoroughly, be gentle and don’t use too much force.
  • Be consistent with your oral hygiene routine. Regularly brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist are key to keeping your mouth healthy.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you are struggling with a mouth ulcer that is affecting your ability to eat, drink, or speak, seek treatment right away. Mill Dam Dental Care offers state-of-the-art laser treatment to remove ulcers quickly and comfortably, so you can resume your normal routine. Reach out today to schedule an appointment or learn more about your treatment options.