Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are as common in pregnant women as they are in nonpregnant women. However, you need not worry as these are temporary and could go away within a week or two.
You might get just one sore at a time or three to four at once. Sometimes, mouth ulcers could be recurrent. They usually look like small spots filled with water and commonly occur on the tongue, inner cheeks, or on the inside of the lips.
Other than the discomfort and pain they cause, mouth sores do not have any serious effects on your pregnancy.
Why Do You Get Mouth Ulcers When Pregnant?
The exact causes of mouth ulcers in pregnancy are not known. However, there are certain theories (1) (2) (3).
Hormonal changes: Fluctuation of hormones during pregnancy could be one of the reasons for canker sores on your lips, inside the cheeks, or on your tongue.
Stress or trauma: Physical trauma (toothbrush, tongue bite, etc.) or stress could also cause mouth ulcers. Although there is no specific evidence to prove this theory in the case of pregnant women, they are the common reasons for mouth ulcers.
Food sensitivity: Food allergies (especially with acidic or spicy foods) might be responsible for canker sores in the mouth.
Hematinic deficiency: Deficiency of folate, iron, and vitamin B12 could also be responsible for developing mouth ulcers. However, taking proper and relevant medications or supplements can help in reducing canker stones.
Others: Weak immunity, tobacco, or broken teeth or dentures could be some other reasons for getting mouth ulcers.
Understanding the symptoms and signs will help you figure out what kind of mouth ulcers you have so that you can treat them accordingly.
Listed here are a few kinds of mouth ulcers with different treatment options.
You might get red, pink, white, or gray mouth ulcers on your tongue, inside your cheeks, or your lips.
Mouth ulcers usually give you a burning sensation, and sometimes even pain.
It becomes difficult to eat and talk when you get mouth ulcers.
Canker sores during pregnancy can be irritable. Nevertheless, you may try some home remedies and other treatments to reduce pain and inflammation.
What Could You Do About Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy?
If the mouth ulcers are benign, they might not require any medical treatments. You can try out some home remedies to ease the pain, and they might disappear in two to three weeks. But when they are frequent or spreading, or lasting for more than two weeks, you should go to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Here are a few home remedies that might help in easing the pain and redness of mouth ulcers.
Maintain oral hygiene, brush twice a day and do not forget to floss.
Try to avoid spicy and acidic foods when you have a mouth ulcer.
Cut down on the use of tobacco. It is not only unhealthy for pregnancy but also worsens your mouth ulcers (4).
You may rinse with salt water or apply hydrogen peroxide and water mixture (1:1) on the sores. Check with the doctor before using hydrogen peroxide.
Apply ice cubes on the sores to relieve pain.
Use mouthwash twice or thrice a day for rinsing your mouth and killing bacteria.
Cantaloupe, celery, and carrot juice are known to be helpful. But ask your healthcare provider before you consume these (2).
Drink a lot of water but do not have acidic or fizzy drinks.
In case your mouth ulcers do not disappear after two weeks, or they are causing discomfort, then consult a doctor.
Your doctor might prescribe different toothpaste or even a gel to apply to the mouth ulcers.
Based on your health, the doctor might suggest certain nutrient-rich foods or supplements.
The doctor might prescribe medications that would help treat your mouth ulcers.
How Long Does It Take For Mouth Ulcers To Heal?
It takes one to three weeks for benign mouth ulcers to heal. And it might take longer, say two to four weeks, for multiple or frequent occurrences of mouth ulcers to go away (5). When you are pregnant, you might want to wait for a couple of weeks for canker sores to disappear. If that doesn’t happen, you can go to the doctor.
There is nothing to worry about mouth ulcers during pregnancy. They go away with time, and with proper medications, if necessary. Some people have misconceptions that mouth ulcers are a sign of pregnancy, or they indicate the gender of the baby. That is merely folklore and not necessarily true. Focus on eating nutritious food and relax during your pregnancy, while trying a home remedy or two after doctor consultation. Soon, you could be relieved of the painful sores.
Asianet.in/News Desk: Asianet Online