Mouth ulcers: more than a troubling tingle

17 April 2019

Mouth ulcers may be small, but they often pack a painful punch. 

Typically noticed when we eat, drink or brush our teeth, or simply when we open our mouth to talk, these mouth sores are typically short-lived with the body’s immune system working quickly to repair any damage. 

But that’s not always the case says Michael McCullough, a University of Melbourne dentist and oral health researcher, quoted in an article on ABC News

"It's often people biting their tongue or lip, the rubbing of braces or sharp fillings, or dentures not fitting properly that cause mouth ulcers." 

In these cases, seeing your dentist is the best course of action, emphasises Dr Harry Nespolon, a GP and president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. 

Stress, poor diet and illness can also play a part in lingering mouth ulcers such as aphthous ulcers, although there is still debate around exactly what makes them form, and in children, should always be treated seriously. 

Ulcers can also be a pointer to a more serious condition such as oral cancer which, Dr Nespolon says should be checked out by a medical professional such as your dentist or doctor.