Is that an ulcer or herpes?
Mouth ulcers are disturbing but mild medical conditions that occur quite frequently. Some people have symptoms virtually every month. The ulcers cause burning sensations when they come into contact with spicy foods. Normally, the body can heal ulcers on its own, but recovery is faster with a helper. There is some confusion between mouth ulcers and herpes so here we’ll share about mouth ulcers in more detail, together with their basic treatment and tips to prevent them.
How do mouth ulcers occur?
The exact causes of mouth ulcers remain unknown. However, it is known that many factors contribute to them, including bacterial responses, viruses, improper chewing or application of oral dental equipment, stress, hormonal changes such as during premenstrual periods, insufficient rest or water intake, food allergies, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Symptoms usually heal on their own in 1-2 weeks but if they last longer or the ulcer is more painful than usual, the patient should consult a doctor.
Mouth ulcers vs herpes
Herpes has similar symptoms to mouth ulcers. A chronic infectious disease caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), it can be transmitted from saliva, drinking from the same glass, eating the same food without using a serving spoon, and other ways. Many people are concerned when they have a sore in their mouth that it might be herpes, so we will share with you the difference between herpes and mouth ulcers here.
- Mouth ulcers are small, shallow yellow or white incisions surrounded by red which occur in the soft tissues of the mouth: the gums, lips, cheeks, and tongue. The ulcers sometimes arise in a single spot and sometimes in several spots at the same time. They do not appear like blisters or granules. Patients feel pain, and in some cases can’t eat or talk because of the pain. However, mouth ulcers are not contagious.
- Herpes sores appear like clear blisters on the skin such as on the lips and also the genitals. They’re produced by the same virus as shingles and chickenpox. Patients feel pain or burning. They feel a tingling sensation around the lips and weakness, and have fever, headache, and body ache. Symptoms of the first outbreak of herpes may be severe and recovery slow. However, if re-infected, symptoms are milder and go away faster.
How to treat mouth ulcers
- Maintain oral hygiene such as by rinsing the mouth with sterile saline solution 2-3 times a day.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and floss your teeth regularly to prevent oral bacterial infection.
- To help the wound heal faster, avoid eating spicy food, gummy sweets, and alcoholic beverages.
- Alleviate the pain from wounds by eating yogurt or ice cream.
- If the wound is severe, to reduce pain and inflammation and help wounds heal faster, use a topical-label drug that can be purchased at a general pharmacy.
- If the wound does not improve after 3 weeks, consult a doctor
How to prevent mouth ulcers
- Get enough sleep.
- Do relaxing activities to reduce stress.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber and avoid fried and oily foods.
- Drink lots of water (preferably room temperature).
- Exercise regularly.
Toenjoy good health and avoid diseases, we should always maintain good physical and mental condition, eat nutritious foods, and find time to exercise. Krungthai-AXA life insurance customers who would like more information or to check for initial symptoms can get help using the Emma by AXA application and click “Symptom Checker”.
For more information, please visit https://www.krungthai-axa.co.th/th/emma-by-axa
• Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University
• Mayo Clinic
• Sukhumvit Hospital
• Paolo Hospital
• Pobpad website