Mouth ulcers

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Painful abscesses caused by the erosion of a small section of the tissue lining the inside of the mouth.

Also called

Apthous ulcer

Affected areas

Mucous membrane of the mouth.


Egg-shaped lesion with a white centre that can be very painful

These tender lesions can cause problems when brushing your teeth, chewing and can react painfully to any food that's sour, spicy or salty


The causes of mouth ulcers are numerous though most commonly they're caused some kind of self-inflicted mouth injury such as biting the inside of the cheek.

Here are some other causes of mouth ulcers:
  • Food allergies
  • Eating acidic fruit such as oranges, tomatoes and pineapples.
  • Viral/bacterial infections
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Sinusitis
  • A deficiency of Vitamin B
  • Dysfunctional immune system
  • Poor digestion
  • Stress

Diet and lifestyle

Mouth ulcers are in most cases harmless and heal in just a few days but continued attacks are a good indicator of being run down.

To help the healing process along and to minimise repeat attacks do the following:

  • Eat a diet rich in red and yellow vegetables, whole grains and cereals, non-citrus fruit, lean meat and seafood.
  • Undertake moderate exercise, get out and get some fresh air and make sure you're sleeping well
  • Reduce stress through natural therapies and activities such as yoga or meditation

Whilst suffering from mouth ulcers, spicy foods and any food known to cause problems, such as acidic fruit, should be avoided.

Important notes

Consult your healthcare professional if the ulcers don't heal.

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Mouth ulcers seem to run in our family - Mum, myself, my sister and both of our sons. I've learnt to deal with them but my 10 year old son seems to get them alot, out of no where or if he bites his lip (like now, its the largest he has had). I have brought this up to our GP a few times and no one really gets worried or looks further into it, just gives me things to pick up at the pharmacy to help but I'm over watching him hurt. Is he (we) lacking in something? It there anything I can give him to help prevent it? Vitamin B apparently? Thanks so much
This has been very helpful as my daughter 13 yrs has a very bad case of mouth ulcers and multiple ulcers on her tongue. I've given her zinc plus vit & a garlic horseradish & C tab so over time her immune deficiency will improve. She's had mouth ulcers before but never as bad as this. Should the dr give her some anti viral tablets?
I've been eating mandarins lately for some vitamin C. This is probably the cause of my ulcer which is located just inside the top lip.
I can handle the mouth ulcer but cannot handle the constant tingly throbbing tongue
Hi Dudley,
Thank you for your post.
Sorry to hear that you are experiencing mouth ulcers.
The B vitamins work best when they are taken together – you might like to try either the Blackmores Mega B complex or Blackmores Executive B Stress Formula

We hope you can get some relief soon.
I am having repetitive single mouth ulcers.
My general health is good but I am old.
I believe I have a vitamin deficiency.
Which of the B vitamins should I try?
Anonymous 08 Jan 2015
Dear Brian,
Thank you for your post.
I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are often caused by stress, a depleted immune system, and generally being run down – all of which may apply to you at the moment if you are undergoing radiotherapy.
As you are having radiotherapy you would need to discuss any new supplements with your healthcare professionals.
All the best Brian.
Kind regards,
Charmaine (Blackmores naturopath)
Charmaine 06 Jan 2015
Recurring mouth ulcers caused in part from the side effects of radio therapy
Anonymous 05 Jan 2015