What Causes Mouth Ulcers?

What Causes Mouth Ulcers?


When you experience mouth ulcers, you might be worried that they’re caused by an underlying health problem such as celiac disease or lupus. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, 90% of all mouth ulcers are caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, HSV-1 infects over 50% of the population and can lie dormant in your body until triggered by an outside cause such as stress or illness.


Contributing Factors

If you’re prone to mouth ulcers, you may have a condition known as Behçet’s disease, which can increase your risk for ulceration. Other contributing factors can include dryness of your mouth, autoimmune conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Talk to your doctor if you suspect any of these causes are behind your mouth ulcer.


How To Treat A Mouth Ulcer

There are a few ways you can treat a mouth ulcer to ensure it heals as quickly as possible. One thing you may want to try is slathering your ulcer with honey and then covering it with gauze or bandages. The antibacterial properties of honey help fight off infection, while also soothing your sore gums.


Where To Find Help

If you have a mouth ulcer and your doctor can’t find an underlying cause, talk to your dentist. Dentists see many cases of mouth ulcers every day, so you should be able to find someone who can help. If your dentist isn’t much help either, try a psychologist. This may sound strange, but psychologists are trained to look for psychological causes of physical ailments. You might have developed an eating disorder or anxiety disorder without even realizing it!

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