Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcer on the side of the tongue

Mouth ulcer on the inside of the mouth

A mouth ulcer is also known as an Aphthous ulcer or a Canker sore. Aphthous ulcers are very common and can occur at any age. They are easy to recognise due to their painful nature and distinctive look. They are white spots surrounded by a red area. You can find them on the inside of the mouth, usually on the cheek, the gums, under the tongue or the inside of the lip. They are usually round and no bigger than a few millimetres in diameter but in some cases can be bigger than that. It may take up to two weeks for them to heal. The exact cause of the ulcers is not known yet but has been related to:

  • Stress.
  • Vitamin or iron deficiency.
  • Certain additives in food.
  • Autoimmune response.
  • Bacteria infection.
  • Virus infection.
  • Weak immune system.
  • Certain systemic diseases like HIV, Crohn's disease.
  • Allergies.

Aphthous ulcers are not contagious.


There is no cure for mouth ulcers, but you can try to prevent them or help them heal quicker.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Have a balanced diet with complimentary vitamins if needed.
  • Avoid touching the infected area.
  • Use Zendium toothpaste.
  • Use Adcortyl in orabase. The active ingredient in the paste is Triamcinolone Acetonide, which is a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation. Use limited to 5 days for children and short-term use also advised for elderly.

Frequently asked questions:

- What can mouth ulcer under tongue be?

- Mouth ulcers under the tongue can be aphtous ulcers that are explained above or trauma injuries due to repeated scratching against a sharp edge of a broken filling. Please note that other types of mouth ulcers can have similar symptoms and appearances. Ulcers under or on the side of the tongue can be caused by mouth cancer. If the mouth ulcer has not healed within few weeks, see your dentist or doctor for advice.


To know more about mouth cancer visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation Web Site