Mouth Ulcers Causes, Types And Symptoms

Mouth ulcers usually occur due to stomach disorder, constipation, acidity, hormonal changes and deficiencies of vitamin B or C, iron.

Mouth ulcers come in any area of the mouth and are really painful. They are also known as canker sores.

They are harmless, but mouth ulcers can make you feel extremely annoying and it becomes difficult for some people to eat, drink, and even brush their teeth.


Causes of mouth ulcers:

The exact cause of mouth ulcers is still not confirmed yet and it varies from person-to-person. However, there are some commonly found causes and factors that might trigger mouth ulcers or canker sore. The factors are-

  • Stomach disorder
  • Constipation
  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking highly acidic foods or spice
  • Undergoing medications such as beta-blockers and painkillers.
  • Consuming citrus fruits

  • Braces, also due to poor-fitting dentures
  • Acidity
  • Digestive tract disorder
  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Genetic factors


Some people might develop ulcers due to some medical issues or any nutritional deficiency. The disease that can cause mouth ulcers are celiac or Crohn’s disease, vitamin B12 or iron deficiency, or might also occur due to a weak immune system.


NOTE- If mouth ulcer is not able to clear even after 3 weeks. It is advised to meet a doctor or dentist. Generally, mouth ulcers will clear up within 2 weeks.


Types of mouth ulcers

Depending upon the type of ulcer, the symptoms of a mouth ulcer may also vary.

Usually, canker sores appear on the inner cheeks and last for about 1-2 week.

There are three main types of mouth ulcers.

  1) Herpetiform ulcers (HU)

Herpetiform ulcers are a subtype of aphthous ulcers. The name itself indicates the sores related to herpes. Unlike herpes, Herpetiform is not infectious. Herpetiform ulcers cure very quickly.

  2) Minor ulcers

Minor ulcers have the size range of about 2 mm to 8 mm. This ulcer usually takes up to 2 weeks to heal.


  3) Major ulcers

Major ulcers are bigger in size than minor ulcers, and have an irregular shape, and penetrate deep into the tissue. They might take several weeks to heal properly and might leave a scar when they clear.


Symptoms of different types of mouth ulcers-

Herpetiform ulceration symptoms include-

  • Extremely painful areas in the mouth
  • Might increase in size and come together to become a ragged ulcer
  • Heals very quickly, not infectious
  • Heal within 10 days

They are found generally in females as compared to males.

Click to know- 17 ways to get rid of mouth ulcers (canker sore)

Symptoms of minor and major ulcers include:

  • One or more painful sores appear on the cheeks, mouth, or even the tongue
  • Looks like a round lesions having red boundaries and are yellow, white, or gray in the center.
  • Some people might experience fever and swollen glands.

Are mouth ulcers can cause mouth cancer?

No, both are totally different and occur due to various reasons. Mouth cancer is generally caused due to heavy drinking or tobacco use.

Mouth ulcers are extremely painful whereas mouth cancer is not.

A mouth ulcer heals in about few weeks, while a mouth cancer spreads.

Author: Hiten Patil

Hiten is Content Writer and He write about all platform like health and wellness related blog and other platform as well