Support for Mouth Ulcers
Aphthous Stomatitis are ulcers which form on the mucous membranes. These ulcers are the most common of oral mucosal diseases in New Zealand . Ulcers typically form on the inside of the lips, cheeks and the underside of the tongue, and can sometimes be found on genitals. Mouth ulcers are usually more common in females than males. Recurrent mouth ulcers are common amongst children and usually occur before 5 years of age. Reoccurrence then increases in frequency at ages 30-40 years, and then decreases again in the elderly. So what do these mouth ulcers look like?
A round or oval shaped yellow spot which is elevated and surrounded by a ring of red.
This spot then turns into an open ulcer, often covered by a loose, grey, yellow membrane.
Surrounding tissue is healthy and unaffected.
Ulcers are easily irritated by movement or eating food.
Minor mouth ulcers are usually less than 5mm large and heal within 1-2 weeks.
Major mouth ulcers are larger than 10mm and take several weeks or up to a month to heal.
Herpetiform ulcers are more rare, and are 1-2 mm in size. They occur in clusters of 10-100 small ulcers and are commonly found on the tongue.
There isn't a cure for mouth ulcers and most will resolve on their own in 1-2 weeks. However prescribed medications are available from your doctor, or you could try a naturopathic approach. Here are some of my suggestions to help you or your child heal mouth ulcers and lessen chances of them reoccurring.
Reduce stress levels, emotional, physical and mental.
Getting enough quality sleep.
Check that it is not something such as a new toothpaste causing aggravation to the mucous membrane.
Medications such as ones used for angina can cause mouth ulcers.
Check for nutritional deficiencies, Vitamin B, Iron and folate.
Check for food allergies.
Oil pulling with coconut oil, to improve oral health and hygiene. Daily for 10 minutes, for two weeks. Then drop to twice weekly (a quick google search will show you how to oil pull, if you are unsure what this is).
Topical applications of honey (as long as you aren't allergic to bee products) on the ulcer maybe helpful as can using a mouthwash of baking soda and water
Increase foods high in folate, iron and B vitamins.
Eat more anti oxidant rich foods.
Decrease highly refined foods and avoid spicy and highly acidic foods.
Increase fresh fruit and vegetables.
Include more garlic and anti inflammatory foods.
Immune enhancing supplements are recommended including; Zinc, for immunity, cell division and health and Vitamin C (NOTE: over 500-1000mg of Vitamin C daily, has been noted to cause mouth ulcers). Before starting supplements, it is best to check with a health care professional to ensure you are taking the correct supplement, correct dosage for your bodies needs and to check that any supplements you may take don't clash with any medications you may also be taking.
As mouth ulcers can often reoccur and it can be useful to have a medical herbalist, such as myself, make up a bottle of liquid herbs you can use for topical applications directly on the ulcer. Your medical herbalist may use herbs such as; Calandula, Chamomile, Licorice, Myrrh, these herbs have properties such as being anti inflammatory, anti microbial and soothing the mucous membrane tissue. Propolis, is also excellent as it has the above properties and can work as local anaesthetic, making it useful for those mouth ulcers that sting. Should you require support in treating mouth ulcers, please use the booking page to schedule an appointment