Mouth ulcers, also known as aphthous ulcers are sores that occur in the oral cavity, usually on the inside of the cheeks. They appear as an irregularity on the surface of the inside cheeks and have a characteristic white appearance. They can cause general discomfort or pain when eating, drinking or brushing. Here are some causes of mouth ulcers:
* Mechanical Damage
Ulcers can result from accidental trauma to the surface of the oral cavity. This can arise from the teeth accidentally biting down on the inside of the cheek or a sports injury. Dental related causes of mechanical damage include hard brushing of the teeth and dental work. Sometimes, the orthodontic braces can dig into the soft lining of the cheeks and cause ulcers through repeated contact and abrasion.
* Biological factors
Hormonal changes can trigger the onset of ulcers and some women develop mouth ulcers during their monthly period. Stress and anxiety is also linked to the emergence of mouth ulcers.
Certain foods such as strawberries, citrus and pineapples, which are acidic in nature trigger the occurence of ulcers. Coffee and chocolate may result in ulcers if the mouth is particularly sensitive to them. It has also been suggested that the toothpaste additive, sodium lauryl sulphate has been a contributing factor in the presence of mouth ulcers for certain people.
* Cessation of smoking
When smoking is first ceased, ulcers may occur as a result of the body coming to terms with the change in chemicals.