Mouth ulcers are painful sores and everyone has suffered from these vicious little lesions at one point or the other. For some unfortunate people it is a regular feature. Mouth ulcers make an appearance just like unwanted guests and take up lodging in your oral cavity for a variable period – it could last a few days or a few weeks.

So we can agree on the fact that mouth ulcers are annoying and they are disruptive – and a way to get rid of them has to be found. And the best way to do so is to figure mouth ulcer causes and in particular, what is responsible for your mouth ulcer – and eliminate it.

But even before you pinpoint the probable causes of mouth ulcers, let’s inspect the nature of these ulcers.

Get to know the ‘enemy’ – Mouth ulcer types!

  • Minor ulcers – more than 80% people are familiar with this lesion.
  • Small in diameter :2-8 mm
  • Heal naturally in 10-14 days
  • Do not leave scars

  • Major ulcers – deeper and bigger than minor ulcers.
  • Usually 1 cm in diameter
  • Take a long time to heal
  • Can leave scars

Herpetiform ulcers – cluster of pinhead sized sores.

  • 100 or more small ulcers fuse into one ‘super ulcer’ – very painful
  • Almost 5-10% mouth ulcers are of this type
  • This ulcer has no relation to the herpes virus, so don’t let the name fool you.

Credit source:
Credit source:

Now for the…

Causes of mouth ulcers:

  • Accidental injury to the mouth can cause mouth sores/ulcers. It could also happen if you accidentally bite the soft inner layer of the mouth. And if you have a sharp or broken tooth that is rubbing into the soft tissues of the mouth, ulcers can surface at the point of contact.
  • Stress and anxiety as well as hormonal imbalance, or change can cause mouth ulcers. This is why women might suffer ulcers in the mouth while they have their periods.
Credit Sourses :
Credit Sourses :
  • Some people are genetically predisposed to mouth sores and ulcers – although the exact cause cannot be pinpointed.
  • Some food trigger mouth ulcers – the trigger foods include:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Almonds
  3. Peanuts
  4. Cheese
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Wheat
  • Once you kick the habit of smoking (finally!), mouth ulcers might be part of the withdrawal symptoms. The body is getting used to the chemical changes in the body, which result from kicking nicotine addiction.
  • Medical issues can also cause mouth ulcers to surface. It could also be deficiency of important nutrients like Vitamin B12, and iron.
  • Plus, you might develop mouth ulcers if you have any of the following:

  1. Celiac disease
  2. Crohn’s disease
  3. Severe reactive arthritis
  4. HIV or similar autoimmune issues

  • Certain medications and drugs like Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also cause mouth ulcers as reaction to the drug. This is especially possible if you depend too heavily on such meds.
Credit source:
Credit source:
  • Other triggers include the cold sore virus – Herpes simplex could also cause mouth ulcers. Certain skin issues and severe gastrointestinal problems can also lead to ulcers in the mouth.

As you might have already guessed, the triggers of mouth ulcers are varied and no doctor has been able to pinpoint exactly what causes breakouts in the mouth. So it is up to you save the day and figure out what is causing you to have such breakouts…and get the problem out of the way. And once you know the mouth ulcer causes, half your work is done.