PREVENT: Sores on the inside of the mouth or cheeks can be caused by damage to the lining of the mouth from hot foods, biting your cheek or even rubbing dentures.
They can also be a sign of an iron or Vitamin B12 deficiency, so a balanced diet can help prevent them. Spicy foods and chocolate can be triggers, so keep a food diary if you have recurrent outbreaks to pinpoint problem foods.
It’s also worth checking your toothpaste – formulas that contain a foaming agent called sodium lauryl sulphate can cause mouth ulcers by reducing the protective mucus layer in the mouth. You might consider switching brands.
TREAT: Over-the-counter antiseptic gels can bring relief from the stinging and help form a protective layer around the mouth ulcer to speed up healing. You could also try a medicated mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, which is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce bacteria.
If you have had mouth ulcers for more than three weeks, go to your GP or dentist, who may prescribe steroids in the form of a tablet, mouth spray or gel.
DON’T BOTHER: Some people believe upping their Vitamin C intake will cure their mouth ulcers, as the vitamin is known to help the wound-healing process, but too much can actually irritate the mouth.
Stick to the daily recommended allowance of 40mg per day (30mg for children aged one to ten) through a healthy diet.