Ulcers in the mouth can be caused by many local and systemic factors.
Any ulcer, white or red patch in the mouth that has been present for 2-3 weeks needs to be assessed by a dentist or doctor immediately to make sure that it is not an early sign of mouth cancer. Mouth cancer when diagnosed early can be treated far more effectively (80-90% successful) than later presentation. For more information visit www.mouthcancer.org.
However there are many other less serious causes of persistent ulcers in the mouth, many of which are far more common than mouth cancer. See further down for a full list.
A very common cause of ulceration in the mouth is a condition called Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS). It is thought to be caused by the body's immune system, probably mediated by genetic predisposition. However the exact mechanism remains unclear. See below for more detail on causes.
The pain from ulcers can be relieved by:
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