Mouth ulcers (or canker sores) are small lesions (small oval sores) that develop inside the mouth, most often on the inside of the cheeks or lips. Usually painful and annoying, mouth ulcers can make eating drinking, and talking uncomfortable.

Mouth ulcers explained!

Mouth ulcers explained!

Tim Verhaeghe, skin care expert for Herpatch Ulcer Gel explains more about mouth ulcers:

"Usually inflamed white, red, yellow or grey in colour, mouth ulcers can be irritable when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth, but they are usually harmless.

Mouth ulcers are common, particularly in women and young adults. Most people will have at least one or two mouth ulcers per year. Some people can suffer with recurring mouth ulcers, ulcers that come back regularly. In fact in the UK, recurring mouth ulcers are estimated to affect about one in every five people. It is recommended that if this happens to you, that you visit your GP.

There are three categories of mouth ulcer:

Minor ulcers are small, non-scarring and will eventually heal within two weeks without any treatment. Minor ulcers are the most common type and cause around three quarters of all mouth ulcers.

Major ulcers are slightly larger, around 1cm or bigger and have a raised border that can last from two week to several months! Sometimes you may find that two appear at the same time. These can be very painful and may cause scars. Roughly, 10 per cent of mouth ulcers are Major ulcers.

Lastly there is the Herpetiform ulcer. These are tiny sores that can be very painful, particularly if they fuse together to form one larger one. Lasting anywhere from one week to two months! Despite their name they are not related to the herpes virus that causes cold sores. Herpetiform ulcers are uncommon.

Minor mouth ulcers (the most common type of mouth ulcer) are usually triggered by damage to the mouth or conditions that can affect the effectiveness of the immune system:

  • Biting the inside of the cheek
  • Over-active teeth brushing
  • Dental work
  • Food allergies to coffee, eggs, highly acidic foods or chocolate
  • Improper diet or deficiency in certain vitamins such as iron, folic acid, zinc or vitamin B-12.
  • Certain toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain the cleaning agent sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Agents used in cancer chemotherapy
  • Certain diseases that cause your immune system to shut down or not function properly such as HIV/AIDS

To help promote healing and reduce the pain of mouth ulcers instantly, use new Herpatch Mouth Ulcer Gel from the Belgian oral skin care experts Sylphar. It is alcohol free and anyone in the family from infants to adults can use it."

Herpatch Mouth Ulcer Gel is a medical device and is available from Boots stores as well as online at (£7.99)