what happens when i get a mouth ulcer

1. WHAT’S THAT?

Your mouth hurts and it’s not because of excessive speaking. “Ulcers have multiple causes ranging from stress to the big C,” says Dr S K Thakur, consultant gastroenterology, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi. Identify it:Arecf patch that develops a yellowish centre causing a fair amount of pain, especially during eating and drinking. Think of it as a mouth zit, but don’t try to burst it! Besides the inside of your cheeks, you can also get ulcers on your tongue, palate and lips.

2.ARE THEY CONTAGIOUS?

“Ulcers are of two kinch Apthous ulcers are not contagious. But cold sores around the lips caused by herpes simplex are. Nearly 10 per cent ot the population gets them,” says DrArun K Goel, a senior oncology consultant at Galaxy Cancer Institute and Push panjali Crosslay Hospital. Minor symptoms are fever, loss of appetite or skin rash. In extreme cases, there can be multiple joint involvement with pain
and swelling.

3. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Most malignant ulcers have a history of tobacco consumption, especially chewingpaan—”as mouth resistance drops and elasticity of oral mucosa comes down,’ says Dr Chanchal Pal, ENT, Moolchand Medcit “Most ulcers are dueto a deficiency of vitamin B complex, constipation and irregular diet.” Dr Goel adds hormonal imbalances, food allergies, stress and lack of sleep to the list. Drop your girl home early sometimes to catch s much-needed shute

4. SHOUI.D ‘WORRY?

Usually ulcers heal over short period ottime, say our boarciof experts A common home remedy isa dab of glycerine on the affecei erea. If your ulceT insists on making your mouth its permanent hcme itould be malignant. “Cancerous ulcers do not heal and tend to increase in size and pain,” says Dr Goel. “Since cancer of the oral cavity is a common problem in India, people as well treating doctors need to be aware that cancer can be the cause of the ulcer,” he adds.

5. HOW CAN I MAKE IT GO AWAY?

Man up and bearthe pain for a few days, as ulcers will self-heal but the agony is not worth enduring. Why suffer when the cure is easily available with over- the-counter drugs like analgesics and gels. “Also, avoid spicy food for afew days, up your vitamin intake and try salt water rinses,” says DrGoel. Eating papaya helps. “In severe cases, ulcers may require a biopsy for final diagnosis and steroid therapy,”

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