Mouth ulcers or canker sores are painful areas in the mouth that make it difficult for people to eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Other than this mouth ulcers are usually extremely harmless. Mouth ulcers can be treated using home remedies. The type of mouth ulcer is usually determined by its size and shape. While there is really no one particular cause of mouth ulcers it can be aggravated by quitting smoking. They can also be triggered by hot or acidic foods. It is very important to get, any ulcer that lasts more than two weeks, checked by a doctor. Ulcers are not really a big threat by themselves but they can be a symptom of a bigger disease. So please do not ignore one after two weeks.

These ulcers range in size and shape and it is all determined by the type of ulcer a person has in his mouth. The treatment also depends on the type of ulcer. Ulcers can occur on inner cheek and gums.

Why does mouth ulcer happen?

Why exactly do mouth ulcers happen is still a mystery because the cause varies from person to person. However, there are a few common, recurring causes of mouth ulcers in different people.

  • If you have been smoking regularly for a while and recently quit that may aggravate your mouth ulcers. The ulcer may last for a week or two and then disappear. However please do not let this affect your conviction to quit.
  • The citric acid in several fruits can worsen canker sore and make things worse than they already are
  • Poorly fitted dentures or braces which rub against the mouth are also possible to cause the problem.
  • If you are under a lot of stress and are constantly worried that can cause mouth ulcers as well.
  • If you are a teenager or if you are on your period or if you are pregnant then your body is probably going through a whole lot of hormonal changes. That can cause mouth ulcers as well.
  • Some people might frequently get mouth ulcers because it is in their genes.
  • If you are taking beta-blockers or pain killers then it is highly possible that you will get mouth ulcers.
  • If you have a medical condition like celiac or Crohn’s disease, vitamin B12 or iron deficiency, or a weakened immune system which is why they get frequent ulcers in their mouth. So mouth ulcers can also be a result of vitamin deficiency.
  • They can also occur due to poor detail hygiene and sanitation.

Types of mouth ulcers

It is highly important to identify your mouth ulcer in order to treat them properly. Mouth ulcers are mostly harmless and disappear in a week. However, there are some types of ulcers which can last for longer.

Minor ulcers

These are the smaller ulcers. They are only 2 millimeter to 3 millimeters in size and last for one to two weeks. They also cause some minor pain that shouldn’t occur if you don’t touch it with your tongue too much.

Herpetiform ulceration (HU)

These ulcers are called by this specific name because they resemble the ulcers formed due to herpes. They are a subset of aphthous ulcers. However unlike the ulcers caused by herpes these ulcers are not contagious.

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Major Ulcer

Unlike minor ulcers, these are irregular in shape and size. They’re also larger. They can penetrate deeper into the tissue than minor ulcers. They may take several weeks to go away and leave a scar tissue when they do disappear.

Both major and minor ulcers can appear alone or in clusters. They are usually found in clusters of three or four but sometimes they may come in clusters of ten. That is however very rare.

Symptoms of HU lesion

  • They occur as extremely painful ulcers in the mouth
  • Maybe recurring
  • They eventually enlarge in size and become bigger.
  • Take 10 or more days to heal
  • They can appear anywhere inside your mouth

Symptoms of minor and major ulcers

  • A solitary or a cluster of painful sores in your mouth. Especially on your inner cheek, did of your mouth, or tongue.
  • Round lesions that are red on the border and are either grey or white or yellow in the middle.
  • If the outbreak is more severe some people may suffer from fever.

Treatment: Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers

Canker sores are usually very harmless and they go away eventually by themselves in a few days. However, if you want to know here are some natural remedies to treat mouth ulcers.

  • Take a small ice chip and let it sit on your mouth ulcer until it dissolves. This relieves the burning sensation
  • Avoid eating citrusy and spicy foods they may aggravate the mouth ulcers.
  • If you use a toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Then you should consider changing the toothpaste as it can aggravate the ulcers
  • Mix a teaspoonful of Benadryl liquid in an equal amount of milk of magnesia and put it on the ulcer and that should give you some relief.
  • Mix a teaspoon of baking soda or salt in half a cup of water and rinse your mouth with it to treat the mouth ulcer.
  • Carrot juice is also an effective home remedy for mouth ulcers.


While there are many home remedies for mouth ulcers it is essential to remember that if your ulcer persists for more than three weeks then please go to a doctor and have it checked. It could be a symptom of a more major problem.