Pregnancy is the time wherein the pregnant woman experiences various changes and side effects in her body. One such side effect that is usually under-discussed is the formation of mouth ulcers or also called canker sores. These appear on the lips, tongue, and inner cheeks that cause pain and irritations. These mainly occur due to the hormonal changes experienced by the pregnant woman. One good thing is that these are not severe complications and can be cured very easily naturally or medicinally. Here, in this article, we will discuss the causes, types of ulcers, and the cure for these mouth ulcers during pregnancy.
What Is Mouth Ulcer?
Mouth ulcers are open sores, also known as canker sores or cold sores or Aphthous stomatitis, which are small white or yellow spots filled with water surrounded by red circles that mainly occur around the mouth. These sores occur one at a time or 3-4 at a time, sometimes these are recurrent. These occur in any trimester of pregnancy. Other than discomfort and slight pain, these sores are not much to worry about for a pregnant woman. These mouth ulcers are very common for pregnant and even non-pregnant women. This does not mean that every pregnant woman experiences these canker sores during her pregnancy; it mostly depends from person to person.
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Causes of Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy:
Mouth ulcers or cold sores are quite common in pregnant women during her pregnancy. There are no scientific pieces of evidence of the causes of mouth ulcers, but some research and studies have said that mouth ulcers may be caused due to
1. Improper Diet:
An imbalanced diet wherein the diet lacks essential vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc may cause mouth ulcers.
2. Hormonal Imbalances:
During pregnancy, the pregnant lady experiences high fluctuations of hormones. Because of these fluctuations, mouth ulcers might form during pregnancy.
3. Food Sensitivity:
The pregnant lady during pregnancy craves spicy foods. Intake of spicy or acidic foods may also cause canker sores in the mouth.
A pregnant woman during her entire gestational period experiences physical and mental stress. This might also be one of the causes of the formation of mouth ulcers. Although there is no proven evidence about this point, stress is the common reason for ulcers in every individual.
5. Hematinic Deficiency:
A deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, and folate could also be one of the reasons for the formation of mouth ulcers during pregnancy.
Types Of Mouth Ulcers:
This is a bizarre thing, but mouth ulcers also have certain types. They are as follows:
A. Minor Mouth Ulcers:
These are the common type of mouth ulcers that are formed in pregnant women. The size of this type of ulcer measures between 2-9 mm. These occur on the gums, the base of the mouth, or the tongue. Usually, these ulcers heal themselves within 10-12 days.
B. Major Mouth Ulcers:
These types of ulcers are quite uncommon in pregnant women; the diameter of these ulcers is about 10mm. These ulcers form on the gums and tongue, and some of them even in the throat. Major mouth ulcers are excruciating and last for several weeks or months. These ulcers do not heal by themselves and should be treated by a doctor.
C. Herpetiform Ulcers:
A herpetiform ulcer is more of a virus than a sore. They form in clusters inside the mouth; the usual diameter of these ulcers is 1mm. These types of ulcers take 2-3 weeks to heal, leaving behind scars.
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Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy:
The typical symptom of mouth ulcers is the formation of a wound inside the mouth. Listed down are some of the symptoms of mouth ulcers during pregnancy
- Irritation and itchiness at the spot of the ulcer.
- May get a fever
- Sometimes bad breath or mouth odour can also be a symptom of mouth ulcers.
- The severe burning sensation inside the mouth or on the tongue.
- Slight pain at the spot of the ulcer.
- Difficulty in eating food, drinking liquids, and even talking.
Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy:
Most mouth ulcers get healed themselves, but in some cases, they require treatment. These can be treated both naturally and by consulting doctors. Some of the home remedies that can be practised are
Turmeric is considered a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The curcumin present in the turmeric helps in treating the sores. Flossing the mouth with hot turmeric water helps in easing the pain and irritations caused by the ulcers. There is no proven evidence of how turmeric helps in treating mouth ulcers; the only reason it is used is that turmeric is antiseptic.
2. Salt Licorice:
Liquorice root is a natural ingredient that has several health benefits. The Icelanders and Norwegians believe that this root helps in treating mouth ulcers, but to date, there is no scientific backup for this.
3. Stop the use of tobacco if you have the habit of eating tobacco. Eating tobacco causes not only mouth ulcers but also mouth cancer.
4. Carrot juice, celery, and cantaloupe are also known to help treat ulcers.
5. Avoid eating spicy and acidic foods for some days until the ulcers get healed themselves.
6. Floss regularly with saltwater or apply a water and hydrogen peroxide mixture in a 1:1 ratio on the ulcers. Using ice cubes on the ulcers can relieve the pain.
How To Treat Mouth Sores During Pregnancy:
While most of the minor mouth sores get healed within a few days, very few ulcers take more time than anticipated. Such types of canker sores should be treated by consulting a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe some ointments that can be applied to the mouth sores. Additionally, he/she may prescribe different toothpaste than a regular one. Intake of nutrient-rich and vitamin-rich foods can treat ulcers quickly.
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When To Consult a Doctor for Mouth Blisters During Pregnancy:
Since this pregnancy, even a small change in the body worries the pregnant lady very much. In the case of mouth blisters, you do not need to panic as these may not lead to any severe complications. The danger bells for mouth ulcers would be when you encounter bleeding from the sores and gums when it becomes tough to eat and have a severe burning sensation inside the mouth. At this point, consult a doctor immediately for treatment of mouth blisters.
To conclude, mouth ulcers are quite common in most pregnant ladies, and these are not that harmful to the mother-to-be or the unborn baby. These are just the side effects of the pregnancy and are just passing clouds during pregnancy. Following a vitamin-rich and nutrient-rich diet may avoid mouth blisters during pregnancy. Before following any of the home remedies, consult your doctor for better advice.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are just suggestions, and the website is in no way responsible for the side effects it may cause. It is better to consult a doctor before you practice anything, especially when you are pregnant.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. Do mouth ulcers affect the health of the unborn baby?
Ans: Mouth ulcers are just the side effects of pregnancy. They are mainly caused due to hormonal imbalances or stress. The formation of mouth ulcers does not affect the health of the baby as long as you do not consume any steroids for treating the sores.
Q2. What is the safe way to treat mouth blisters?
Ans: Mouth blisters can be treated naturally with some easy home remedies. Depending on the size and impact of the mouth blisters, they can be treated either at home or by consulting a doctor. If the blisters are minor and smaller in size, then home remedies work well, but if the size of the blisters is relatively big, consulting a doctor is better.
Q3. Is there a chance of mouth ulcers leading to cancer?
Ans: In almost every case, mouth ulcers do not lead to cancer. But, if you have the habit of chewing tobacco, there is very little chance of the sores leading to cancer.