How to treat mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers dont usually need to be treated, because they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two.

However,treatmentcanhelp to reduce swelling and ease any discomfort. This may help if you keep getting mouth ulcers or your mouth ulcer affects eating and drinking.

Self care

Things you can do to speed up healing include:

  • applying a protective paste recommended by your pharmacist
  • using a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth
  • using a toothpaste that doesnt contain sodium lauryl sulphate, as this may be irritating
  • avoiding hard, spicy, salty, acidic or hotfood and drinkuntil the ulcer heals
  • using a straw to drink cool drinks
  • avoiding things that may be triggering your mouth ulcerssee causes, below

Pharmacy medicines

You can buy several types of mouth ulcer treatment from a pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist about the besttreatment for you. Options include the following:

  • Antimicrobial mouthwash may speed up healing and prevent infection of the ulcer. Children under two shouldn't use this treatment. It also contains chlorexidine gluconate, which may stain teeth but thismay fade once treatment is finished.
  • Painkillers are available as a mouthwash, lozenge, gel or spray. They can sting on first useand your mouth may feel numb butthis is temporary. Mouthwash can be diluted with water if stinging continues. Children under 12 shouldnt use mouthwash or gel. Mouthwash shouldnt be used for more than seven days in a row.
  • Corticosteroid lozenges may reduce pain and speed up healing. These are best used as soon as the ulcer appears, but shouldn't be usedby children under 12.

Medicines from your dentist or GP

If necessary, you may beprescribeda course of stronger corticosteroids to help reduce pain and swelling, and speed up healing.

Corticosteroids are available on prescription as tablets, mouthwash, paste or spray, but are not suitablefor children under 12.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018