Mouth ulcers are common and should clear up on their own within a week or 2. They're rarely a sign of anything serious, but may be uncomfortable to live with.
How you can treat mouth ulcers yourself
Mouth ulcers need time to heal and there's no quick fix.
Avoiding things that irritate your mouth ulcer should help:
A pharmacist can help with mouth ulcers
A pharmacist can recommend a treatment to speed up healing, prevent infection or reduce pain, such as:
You can buy these without a prescription, but they may not always work.
See a dentist or GP if your mouth ulcer:
Although most mouth ulcers are harmless, a long-lasting mouth ulcer is sometimes a sign of mouth cancer. It's best to get it checked.
Treatment from a dentist or GP
Your GP or dentist may prescribe stronger medication to treat severe, recurrent or infected mouth ulcers.
Check if you have a mouth ulcer
Mouth ulcers usually appear inside the mouth, on the cheeks or lips.
Ulcers can also appear on the tongue.
You may have more than 1 ulcer at a time and they can change in size.
Mouth ulcers are not contagious and should not be confused with cold sores.
Cold sores appear on the lips or around the mouth and often begin with a tingling, itching or burning sensation.
If you have several mouth ulcers, this can be a symptom of:
You cannot always prevent mouth ulcers
Most single mouth ulcers are caused by things you can try to avoid, such as:
Sometimes they're triggered by things you cannot always control, such as: