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May 29, 2003

Other Illnesses

Question from Pembrokeshire, Wales:

I have got lots of mouth ulcers, and I have asked my dentist what he thinks it is. He said it is because of the enzymes in my mouth not breaking down the food properly, and my mouth absorbs the acidic food. He said to stay away from the acidic food and I have, but I still have them, and my mouth is really sore. Is there anything i can take or do for it?

Answer:

This sounds like aphthous ulcers. The reason you stay away from acid foods, is that the acid will irritate the break in the mucous membrane, and you will fell pain.

These usually heal with no problems, and they may recur. There is no specific cure for them, and I know of no specific association with diabetes. People without diabetes get them as well. Another possibility is that these are tiny mucoceles — the saliva gland openings get closed up, and they “back up”, similar to a pimple with the sweat gland in the skin. Again, they go away with no specific treatment, and may recur, and I know of no specific association with diabetes.

Please make sure that you practice good dental care. If an ulcer lasts more than one month without healing, see a surgeon — either a head and neck surgeon or an oral surgeon, as a biopsy and/or excision may be prudent.

PSL