Question: I keep getting mouth ulcers what can I do?
Answer: These pesky little sores cause more grief than anything so small deserves to.
You can buy topical anaesthetic gels or babies' teething gels from the chemist, which have a mild numbing effect. Or, try these kitchen cabinet cures:
- Chewable wafers of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (DGL) are available in health-food shops, and they help to coat the ulcers.
- Aloe vera, the trusty go-to plant for all things first aid, also brings relief. Squeeze a dab of gel from the inner leaf, dry the ulcer with a cotton bud, and dab on the aloe vera.
- Pierce a vitamin E capsule and squeeze some of the oil onto the ulcer several times a day.
- Use a small amount of milk of magnesia (from your chemist) in a mouthwash. It helps to neutralise acids and digestive enzymes in the mouth, which is what aggravates the sore.
- Hold a damp tea bag against the sore it contains astringent tannins which help speed up healing and relieve the pain.
- Make a tea from dried calendula petals (from health-food stores), strain it, and let it cool, before swishing it around your sore mouth. Calendula has a long history as an effective treatment for all manner of minor cuts, scratches, itches and bites.
- For really bad sores, make an antibacterial mouthwash by combining 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (from your chemist) with a teaspoon each of bicarbonate and salt, in a cup of water. Swish and spit; do not swallow. Hydrogen peroxide and salt are both disinfectants, which is helpful because a mouth ulcer is an open wound, and so is vulnerable to infection, while bicarb is alkalising and neutralises acids.
- Stock up on supplements echinacea and lysine are both thought to be helpful in boosting immunity, and vitamin C and zinc may help ulcers to heal more quickly.
- Avoid foods and drinks which seem to trigger ulcers citrus, shellfish, chocolate, strawberries and whole wheat are all possible culprits, while sharp foods, like crisps, can cause tiny grazes inside your mouth which may lead to ulcers. Same goes for ill-fitting dentures and too-hard toothbrushes treat your mouth gently.
Your say: Do you suffer from mouth ulcers? How do you treat them?
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