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Mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers are small, painful patches or lumps inside your mouth.

The main symptom of a mouth ulcer is a small, painful patch or lump in your mouth.

Mouth ulcers usually heal within 2 weeks. To help ease the symptoms, avoid foods that may damage or hurt your mouth like spicy, salty or crunchy food.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of a mouth ulcer is a small, painful patch or lump in your mouth.

Check if you have a mouth ulcer

Single mouth ulcer on the inside of the bottom lipMouth ulcers usually appear inside the mouth, on the cheeks or lips.

Clear white-coloured mouth ulcer on the tip of the tongueUlcers can also appear on the tongue.

You may have more than 1 ulcer at a time and they can change in size.

Mouth ulcers are not contagious and should not be confused with cold sores.

Cold sores appear on the lips or around the mouth and often begin with a tingling, itching or burning sensation.

If you have several mouth ulcers, this can be a symptom of:

Read more on the NHS website.

Mouth ulcers usually heal within 2 weeks. To help ease the symptoms, avoid foods that may damage or hurt your mouth like spicy, salty or crunchy food.

Self-care

Mouth ulcers need time to heal and there's no quick fix.

Avoiding things that irritate your mouth ulcer should help:

  • speed up the healing process
  • reduce pain
  • reduce the chance of it returning

Do

  • use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • drink cool drinks through a straw
  • eat softer foods
  • get regular dental check-ups
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet

Don't

  • do not eat very spicy, salty or acidic food
  • do not eat rough, crunchy food, such as toast or crisps
  • do not drink very hot or acidic drinks, such as fruit juice
  • do not use chewing gum
  • do not use toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulphate

Medical treatments

Your GP or dentist may prescribe stronger medication to treat severe, recurrent or infected mouth ulcers.

Read more on the NHS website.