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Mouth ulcers, commonly called canker sores by many, are painful sores that can form on the tissue inside your mouth. They are essentially open wounds. The proper name for them is aphthous ulcers but no matter what you call them the fact remains – they can hurt quite a lot.
Most people get them from time to time, making us wince when we eat or drink, and often they will fade on their own eventually. However, some may suffer from them more often and more persistently than others.
There are several types of mouth ulcers. The first is called a minor ulcer and they range from 2-8 millimeters and often clear up on their own within two weeks. The second type is a major ulcer, which are not only larger but deeper and take longer to heal. They also may leave a scar behind. Then lastly there are herpetiform ulcers, which appear in clusters and are small but numerous.
You will know you have an ulcer if you feel pain in one spot on the inside of your cheeks, on your tongue, or on the soft palate. Visibly, they look round and are often white or grey colored. Sometimes they may have a red, irritated edge. If the ulcers are bad enough, you may also experience a fever and swollen lymph nodes.
If you are experiencing mouth ulcers that last more than 3 weeks or that constantly reappear then it’s important to seek out medical advice. There may be an underlying cause. Luckily, there is treatment.
Mouth Ulcer Causes
There is not a known specific cause of mouth ulcers. Minor ulcers are believed to be caused by both stress and simple injury to the skin tissue. Some foods, particularly citrus fruits like lemons, can both cause and irritate existing ulcers. Dental appliances may also cause tissue damage and inevitably an ulcer.
Persistent issues with mouth ulcers can be due to an underlying health issue. These potential causes include: nutritional deficiencies, an impaired immune system, and gastrointestinal tract disease. Certain medications, such as painkillers and beta-blockers, have also been known to lead to mouth ulcers. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think any of these conditions or medication side effects may apply to you.
Treatment for Mouth Ulcers
Minor mouth ulcers will likely diminish and disappear within less than a week. Over the counter mouth ulcer gels can be used to ease the pain from these ulcers. Major, persistent ulcers can lead to prescription from your dentist or doctor. These prescriptions include antimicrobial mouth rinses or corticosteroid ointments.
Most mouth ulcers can be treated without seeing a doctor or dentist. The most basic treatment is rinsing with salt water, but if that doesn’t work or ease the pain, then over the counter mouth ulcer gels both alleviate pain and encourage healing.
If you’re in the process of treating your ulcers, be sure to not eat acidic foods such as certain fruits or chocolate, or salty foods. Try to reduce your stress levels and relax, as well as lower your alcohol and tobacco intake. Again, if the problems persist, see your doctor to discuss possible prescription options.
Best Mouth Ulcer Gels
There are many over the counter mouth ulcer gels that are used to soothe and treat mouth ulcers. We have conducted research on the many brands that produce these gels and collected the products with the best consumer reviews. We hope this guides you to purchasing the most effective gel to soothe your pain and lead you back to having a healthy, comfortable mouth.
Orajel is a reliable brand that has been around for quite a long while. Their Orajel Mouth Sore Gel is applied directly to the area causing you pain orally, providing instant relief from pain. It uses benzocaine, a local anesthetic, which numbs feeling in the area in which it is applied, while working as an antiseptic to ease the infection. The gel also contains menthol, which provides a soothing and cooling sensation. This product can be used up to four times a day for relief and it is very easy to use.
To compare this to similar products, Orajel contains 20% benzocaine. They have been a go-to when it comes to mouth ulcers and canker sores for years, a favored product that provides relief and speeds up the healing process. The gel is easy to find as well, sold in almost any outlet in the United States and many different countries for a very reasonable price. All of these factors make Orajel a great bet in terms of treating painful mouth ulcers and canker sores.
Zilactin-B oral gel is a clear liquid that forms a protective coat over the ulcer after application. This keeps your tongue and food you eat from irritating the sore further, making it easier for you to go about your day as normal without pain. This product contains less benzocaine than Orajel, at only 10%, although this may be ideal for you if you think the level of benzocaine in Orajel is too strong. The protective film lasts a while, keeping your mouth ulcer protected.
Other ingredients in Zilactin-B include SD alcohol 38-b, propylene glycol, and ionized water, as well as salicylic acid and tannic acid – so it will burn upon application, so be warned. However, the pain will ebb and it will almost feel as if the mouth ulcer isn’t even there, speeding along your recovery and greatly diminishing pain and irritation.
Iglu Mouth Ulcer Gel works similarly to all the other mouth ulcer treatments, first soothing the pain and then forming a protective coating over the problematic area. The creamy gel adheres to the area where you apply it, keeping your ulcer safe from painfully rubbing up against your teeth or tongue. The exposed nerve endings are shielded, preventing you from feeling that sharp pain while you eat. While the damaged tissue is covered, it allows the area to heal without further irritation. This product contains various anti-septic ingredients, such as lidocaine hydrochloride, that prevent infection and work as a local anesthetic.
Another nice feature to this product is that the gel has a nice, cool mint flavor, making the process of application much more pleasant. It’s incredibly sticky to, meaning the protective coat really seals in your mouth ulcer for hours at time, meaning that you can eat and drink normally throughout the day.
These mouth ulcer gel products are guaranteed to help soothe and protect your mouth sore. Although many of them work in similar ways, they each have their own formula and blend of ingredients, so be sure to look at these closely to see which one works best for you. These products will help you find the relief you’re looking for when dealing with painful canker sores.
Oralmedic works by forming a seal over the mouth ulcer, keeping the sore protected from irritants. The product also uses HYBENX technology, a chemical desiccant that destroys dangerous pathogens and damaged tissue in the mouth. First, the gel targets the damaged tissue, then it coats the area to protect the sore from further irritation. This process also provides quick pain relief. The gel helps speed up the healing process by protecting the area and helps diminish the pain experienced due to the mouth ulcer.
The process does involve contacting the ulcer with a cotton applicator, which can unfortunately hurt quite a bit thanks to some of the harsher ingredients involved in the formula. However, the relief is immediate and the gel speeds up the healing process significantly, helping you get rid of the nasty sore quicker than with other products. Just like Aloclair, this is a product from the United Kingdom and can be ordered online.
Aloclair Plus contains aloe vera extract, a common plant known for its soothing effect that alleviates pain quickly. This mouth gel also contains hyaluronic acid, which moisturizes and soothes irritation. The gel itself works by creating a protective film that coats the sore, preventing further irritation from occurring from your tongue, teeth or orthodontic device coming in contact with the open lesion. The curative benefits of aloe vera and hyaluronic acid encourage tissue healing as well.
This mouth gel contains no alcohol, which is known to hurt upon application and dry out the oral cavity. Application is easy and requires only several drops from the tube, just be careful not to touch the applicator to the sore. After application, let it rest for around two minutes to allow the coating to form on the mouth ulcer. This product can be used multiple times a day without issue. This is a United Kingdom product and can be found in the United States and other countries as well. However, it may be difficult to find in some countries outside of the UK, so consider these following products as well.
Mouth Ulcer Gel Wrap Up
If you’ve been having problems with out ulcers, the treatment options above should work well for you. Some are more expensive than others, but at the end of the day if they get rid of the sore, they’re probably worth it.