Mouth ulcer


Mouth ulcer
Mouth ulcer

If you have a mouth ulcer that lasts longer than three weeks, call your dental practice for advice.

What are mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the mouth. Some people get mouth ulcers during stressful times.

Mouth ulcers are common and should clear up on their own within a few weeks. They're rarely a sign of anything serious but may be uncomfortable to live with.

Self-care for mouth ulcers

Avoid things that irritate your mouth ulcer to reduce the discomfort while waiting for the ulcer to heal.

Try the following:

  • avoid eating spicy, salty or acidic food
  • avoid eating rough, crunchy food, such as toast or crisps
  • use a soft-bristled toothbrush when cleaning your teeth
  • drink cool drinks through a straw
  • eat soft foods
  • avoid drinking hot or acidic drinks, such as fruit juice
  • try using a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)

A pharmacist can help with mouth ulcers.

Mouth Ulcers are one of the conditions covered by the Common Ailments Scheme which is an NHS service that patients can access for free advice and free treatment and is available from 99% of pharmacies in Wales.

Find your nearest pharmacy here.

Find more information on the service here.

Pharmacists can recommend treatments that speed up healing, prevent infection or reduce pain, such as:

  • antimicrobial mouthwashes
  • painkilling mouthwashes, gels or sprays
  • corticosteroid lozenges

You can buy these without a prescription, but they may not always work.

If your mouth ulcer lasts longer than three weeks call your dental practice for advice.

In rare cases, mouth ulcers that don’t heal can be a sign of mouth cancer. You should call your dental practice or GP if an ulcer has been present for three weeks or more.

If you do not have a dentist call the appropriate dental helpline number for your area.

The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website
Last Updated: 06/03/2024 11:31:04