Tele Oral Medicine

Oral Ulcers

An oral ulcer is caused by the absence of full-thickness epithelium in the mouth.
The surface layer of the lining skin of the mouth (the mucosa) has a breach, similar to a cut in the skin. Oral ulcers present with soreness in the soft tissue lining of gums, lips, tongue, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth.
Ulcers are often yellow or red and can remain for months. Patients can also experience reoccurring oral ulcers in the pre-immersive stage (prodromal phase). Before the ulcer presents, there may be a tingling or burning sensation. Ulcers in the mouth can be painless.

To avoid the growth of ulcers, it is important to discuss both painful and non-painful ulcers with your medical specialist.

Signs and Symptoms:

It is simple to detect an ulcer. Mouth ulcers, while red along the edges are usually white, yellow, or grey in the core.


Symptoms of mouth ulcers include:

  • Inflammation around the ulcer.
  • Soreness or irritation while brushing teeth.
  • Pain or burning sensation while eating spicy, salty, or sour food.


The origin of mouth ulcers can be unknown. However, some of the factors increasing the likelihood of the condition include:

  • Minor tissue damage from dental treatment.
  • Accidentally biting of tongue or cheek.
  • A nutritional vitamin deficiency or imbalance.
  • Using a harsh toothpaste.
  • Consuming high volumes of acidic food, including such as oranges, lemons, limes, plums, grapes, grapefruits and blueberries.
  • Stress or sleep deprivation.
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infection.


Over time most mouth ulcers usually heal on their own. However, your doctor or dentist may suggest treatments to relieve pain and reduce the risk of developing future complications. Typical treatments for mouth ulcer include antiseptic gels, steroid ointments, and medicated mouthwashes.


While mouth ulcers cannot be completely avoided, measures to lower risk include:

  • Brushing teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing once daily.
  • Consuming a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

How long do oral ulcers take to heal?

Mouth ulcers usually heal in 10 to 14 days. If a mouth ulcer persists beyond three weeks, we recommend consulting a medical specialist to avoid the worsening the situation.

To consult an Oral Medicine Specialist regarding your oral ulcers, ask your doctor or dentist to refer you to TeleOralMedicine.  

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