A lot of the time, there is no obvious cause for mouth ulcers and they simply appear as a symptom of an oral injury, stress, anxiety or hormonal changes.
However, some ulcers are caused as the result of a more serious disease, so if you suffer from recurring ulcers, it’s important to be aware of the facts and to call a trusted GP advice line like that offered by Benenden Health.
Microbial diseases are those caused by microbes, of which bacteria, fungi, viruses and Protozoa are the most common. Microbial diseases that can cause mouth ulcers include chickenpox, herpes zoster, HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis and fungal infections.
Many of these diseases simply incapacitate or overrun your immune system, leaving it vulnerable to ulcers and opportunistic infections.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are also known to trigger mouth ulcers. These diseases include celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. If you experience abdominal pain in conjunction with your mouth ulcers, it’s possible that you may also have a gastrointestinal problem.
A cutaneous disease is one that affects the organ that encases the body such as the skin, hair, nails and related muscles and glands.
Therefore the delicate lining of the inside of the mouth is susceptible to diseases that fall into this bracket. They include lichen planus, dermatitis herpetiformis, epidermolysis bullosa, chronic ulcerative stomatitis and other dermatoses.
Leukemia and neutropenia have both been known to cause mouth ulcers, as does the lack of iron caused by anemia.
In fact, a deficiency of vitamins and minerals is a common cause of mouth ulcers, so if you suffer regularly, try taking some supplements to see if it stops the ulcers recurring.
Rheumatoid diseases affect the connective tissues and joints of your body and can be extremely painful and debilitating. Rheumatoid diseases that can cause mouth ulcers include Lupus erythematosus, Behçet’s syndrome, Sweet’s syndrome and Reiter’s disease.
Mouth ulcers can also be caused as a side effect of the treatments of other diseases like cancer and as a result of taking medications like Nicorandil – used to treat angina – and beta-blockers.
If you’re a benenden health member, and do suffer from painful recurring mouth ulcers, contact your benenden health advisor to find out how to request their help in seeing a consultant, who could advise you how to ease the pain and to prevent the ulcers from coming back on a regular basis.