What should you do when I have an ulcer in your mouth?
Mouth ulcers are pretty uncomfortable and you have probably heard that they are frequent during orthodontic treatment (ahem, ahem…) sometimes the orthodontic appliance can be the cause of friction or something may poke out but luckily actual brackets are smaller and rounded and this is less frequent every time.
Why can a soreness or ulcer appear?
- Viral or bacterial infections (Ex. Throat infection)
- Lowered immunologic defence
- Hormonal changes (ex. menstrual cycle)
- Nutrition deficit
- Dehydration or lack of saliva
- Pressure points or bites
- Chronic stress or depression
- Lack of hygiene
It is important to know the cause to be able to solve it. It is frequent during summer with the heat that we tend to eat less, if you have a very active life and spend a long time under the sun, we tend to forget to drink enough water and then ulcers can show up in your mouth.
It is very typical to come back from field trips with soreness, you tend to sleep less, eat anything and talk too much that your mouth gets dry and if you are wearing a fixed appliance ulcers may appear.
How could you avoid mouth ulcers?
- Using orthodontic wax if something is loose or poking out
- Keeping an excellent oral hygiene
- Making sure you add enough fruits and vegetables in your diet to get all the vitamins and minerals you need
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and irritants (coffee, spicy food,)
- Avoiding hot food (coffee or soups, melted pizza cheese,)
- Drinking water and fresh food to keep yourself well hydrated
- If you have lots of ulcers in your mouth it will be better to make an appointment with your general doctor as it could need a blood test and a systemic treatment.
What should I do if I get an ulcer?
- If there is any area of the appliance that is rubbing against your cheeks or lips use a bit of orthodontic wax to avoid the damage to continue. Ask for an appointment to have it fixed as soon as possible. Whenever you come to the office make sure that you ask us for a supply of orthodontic wax if you need it.
- If you are wearing a removable appliance (such as Invisalign), the edges even thought are laser cut some times have a little burring. With a new nail file or a metal one disinfected with alcohol smooth the edges until you fill it comfortable. Of course you can make an appointment to have it fixed but if you want to try yourself it is easy to have it solved on your own.
- As a homemade remedy you can rinse with water and salt (1 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of salt until it gets dissolved) that will help you to healing
- You could also rinse with hydrogen peroxide diluted in water to get an antiseptic effect (diminishing the number of bacterial colonies)
- Avoid irritant food such us citrics, tomatoes, vinegar, alcohol, coffee, sodas and soft drinks.
- Eat slowly, choose soft foods while the ulcer is painful
- Choose food rich in vitamin B (sardines, pulses, salmon, nuts and seeds), folic acid (dark Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, chards, asparagus, lettuce…) and iron (nuts, seeds, Green leaves vegetables, pulses and whole grains products)
- It is very important that you keep your teeth extra clean to reduce the number of bacteria colonies. Brush 3 times a day with a medium soft toothbrush 2 minutes every time.
- Drink lots of water and fresh food that will help you be more hydrated
- Use bio adhesive gel of Chlorhexidine to gel help you disinfect the lesions. (Chlorhexidine lacer gel, Periokin gel)
- You can also use Afta Clear Spray by GUM with hyaluronic acid to avoid the discomfort.
- Neve use mouthwash with alcohol that can burn the ulcer and the healthy mucosa and thus delay healing.
- If you feel it very painful you may have a pain killer like paracetamol.
If it takes longer than 1 week to completely heal or you if you see that there is anything out of place (loose bracket, slided arch wire,) please call us at 952 77 77 47 to have it solved as soon as possible. Remember we have the black phone for our patient’s emergencies in case it happens on a festivity.