Oral ulcers are one of the smallest yet most complex issues in the world. It is said that approximately 1/5 of the world’s population has been troubled by it, and many friends have experienced the wonderful feeling of not being able to open their mouths while staring at spicy hot pot and crayfish.

99.99% of the strategies online are mixed with unorthodox methods and copied advertisements. I feel complicated seeing everyone so enthusiastic about the ancestral secret formula given by Wang Er Mazhi’s family and San Gu Po. As a technology public account, should I also bring out my Nine Yin Zhenjing or not?

Many doctors, including patients, are overly attached to their so-called three-step experience. This leads to a hasty battle every time an ulcer occurs, and when the ulcer heals on its own, they believe they used the right remedy.

I have decades of experience battling mouth ulcers myself, and there are many doctors in my family. I have also consulted various traditional Chinese and Western doctors, as well as “miracle doctors”. I deeply understand that this is the disease that is furthest from modern medicine in China.

Speaking of highly recommended friends who grind propolis and XX cream with vitamin C into powder can stop here, you’re welcome.

Oral ulcers are not unique to people from the East, so modern medicine has conducted extensive research on them. The Chinese Stomatological Association also has a specialized committee on oral mucosal diseases, composed of approximately 50 experts. They released a clinical practice guideline (trial version) many years ago, but unfortunately it is difficult to access without paying.

Therefore, our article today will focus on western literature. Modern medicine usually refers to oral ulcers as recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU), which are also known as RAS or ROU, commonly referred to as canker sores or mouth ulcers. However, these terms are not important as most people are unfamiliar with them.

I have always been curious about how foreigners without the rich cultural heritage manage to survive without the miraculous means of XX cream or XXXX toothpaste.

Foreign doctors are really “stupid”. They say that there are many causes of oral ulcers, such as genetics, oral trauma, lack of vitamin B, iron, zinc, folic acid, smoking, gluten allergy, SLS toothpaste, hormone levels, immune deficiency, and excessive mental stress… A whole bunch of them, unlike us who can summarize it all with just “spleen deficiency”.

In short, it is the body’s immune system that kills the cells of the oral mucosa. Why does the body kill itself? If you have a good doctor friend, they can investigate the aforementioned causes.

For most people, the following three points ABC are probably the most important:

A) Let the ulcer heal quickly.

B) Alleviate pain.

C) Prevent Ulcers from Returning

During oral ulcers, sometimes the pain is so intense that the mouth cannot open, so many people do not brush their teeth or brush them haphazardly, which is a big mistake. Many people will have a red circle around the ulcer, which is the most painful phase and is mostly accompanied by a bacterial infection. Originally, many occurrences of oral ulcers were sterile, but now the immune system works even harder, fighting both good and bad bacteria. To avoid infection, it is important to tackle the ulcer as soon as it appears or when the oral mucosa is just bitten, so the ulcer can be controlled and not worsen.

First, it is important to brush your teeth diligently, immediately after each meal, and even if it is painful, ensure that your oral cavity is thoroughly cleaned. Second, it is crucial to promptly use antibacterial measures, such as using the strongest-tasting mouthwash that you can buy (containing 70% alcohol) or using mouthwash prescribed by a hospital. Rinse your mouth once after brushing your teeth after meals, three times a day, and it can be challenging to maintain this routine. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of ulcer outbreaks, preventing two weeks of painful suffering after an outbreak.

Some people recommend directly applying iodine to the wound, which has a better sterilization effect than iodine alcohol and is not as irritating. Don’t bother trying things like vitamin C tablets, which may have some effect in a few cases, but the principle is simply that the high concentration of the vitamin C solution can slightly inhibit bacterial growth. This is the same as using saltwater, XX cream, XX Baiyao, or even various powders like flour, which may have some antibacterial effect, but it is not sufficient and also uncomfortable. Applying honey or anything similar is even more ridiculous because many bacteria also like sweet foods.

Please note, taking antibiotics such as amoxicillin at this time is like shooting mosquitoes with an anti-aircraft gun, it’s meaningless because it’s difficult to reach the bacteria that reside in the mouth and coexist with humans for a long period of time. Medicines such as XX detoxification tablets have excellent soothing effects, even Western doctors dare not dismiss their efficacy.

The immune system is highly related to one’s mental state. The more stressed you are, the more stressed the immune system becomes, and it often kills innocent cells. If you can manage to reduce your anxiety, you can usually control mouth ulcers. However, the most difficult thing to deal with is psychological issues. The busier you are with work or study, the more anxious you become, and the more pain you feel in your mouth, the more anxious you become too. Therefore, mouth ulcers often come and go continuously.

At this time, there is usually not enough time to see a psychologist, so what should be done? At this point, many people rely on traditional Chinese medicine to get through difficult times because all major doctors can immediately tell you the cause after examining you. Whether they tell you it is stomach fire or spleen deficiency, you will feel relieved, smelling the aroma of Chinese medicine filling the room, making you less nervous. Oral ulcers are also typical self-limiting diseases that will heal themselves after a certain period of illness.

Oral ulcers usually take 1-2 weeks to heal, and how to reduce the pain is also a problem that needs to be addressed. As for methods to alleviate the pain, it is not advisable to rely on those folk remedies found online.

Western medicine offers many methods, including painkillers, pain-relieving mouthwash, gel creams and patches. Please note that many patches contain corticosteroid hormones that reduce the function of the immune system, which prevents the immune system from continuing to kill the cells of the oral mucosa. I suggest that unless you are overwhelmed by recurrent ulcerations, try to use them sparingly, because from my experience, they are not better than mouthwash.

Some useful products are in cream form, which are basically not imported domestically and are difficult to buy in pharmacies. You can bring some back when traveling abroad, or trust certain online marketplaces. Their effects are mostly similar, which alleviate the dryness and pain in the affected area. I won’t recommend any specific brand. Some people also use bee glue, which might have a little moisturizing effect, but the comforting effect is greater. This is because people tend to have hope in something that sounds miraculous.

Using mouthwash on a large wound can be excruciatingly painful, with a very high level of discomfort. However, after enduring the pain, there is a period of relief. During this comfortable period, eating is also a good choice, otherwise you can only eat tofu and soft foods. Therefore, it is important to carry a small bottle of mouthwash with you before dining out.

Finally, the most effective and immediate method is to use a dental laser to cauterize the ulcerated area of the mouth sore. The mucosal cells are burned, and the pain instantly subsides.

The carbon dioxide laser, widely praised in Europe, America, and Japan, is as impressive as the EUV lithography machine. Just hearing this term can relieve half of the ulcer. For those who frequently experience relapses, it is recommended to inquire at a nearby dental clinic for the availability of this equipment, in order to be prepared for the next time.

It is said that there are various treatment methods similar to microwave, millimeter wave and communication technology. As a fan of lithography machines, I won’t recommend these for now.

There is a familial tendency towards oral ulcers, but it is also difficult to say with 100% certainty that it is genetic. Perhaps the shared temperament, living environment, and diet of a family are the reasons for it. According to the guidelines from the Mayo Clinic, fruits and vegetables with high acidity (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, tomatoes, and strawberries) can easily irritate the mucous membranes of the mouth. In addition, foods such as potato chips, nuts, and salted bread crumbs can also easily irritate or scratch the mucous membranes. However, Mayo Clinic assigns this disease to dermatology, while in our country, it falls under the domain of dentistry.

Many oral ulcers are caused by biting, whether in the mouth or on the tongue. The feeling of a tongue ulcer is especially sour and refreshing, and it can make it difficult to speak clearly. Please note that biting oneself usually results in swelling in the mouth or tongue, and sometimes you can see teeth marks on the edges of the mouth and tongue. This swelling, or sometimes redness, is called “internal heat” in traditional Chinese medicine. In reality, it is often caused by inflammation brought on by bacteria and is not at all mysterious.

Many people often say that eating lychees, tangerines, or chocolate cakes and other such foods quickly leads to toothaches and sore throats caused by heatiness in the body. In reality, the reason is quite simple - these foods contain a large amount of sugar, which serves as the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. To avoid this “heatiness”, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth and throat immediately after eating, and you will magically find that you won’t experience any discomfort from these foods.

Therefore, to prevent biting oneself, one should control the intake of sweets, including fruit juices and other sugary foods.

Regular check-ups for periodontal disease and teeth cleaning are also important means of controlling bacterial growth. Avoid chewing gum as it consumes your saliva and damages the oral environment.

Eat less fried, fried and barbecued foods as they are very easy to scratch the oral mucosa. Avoid eating especially salty and spicy foods as they can dehydrate the mucosal cells. Stop using hard-bristled toothbrushes and toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as they can also damage the mucosa. Protecting the mucosa means avoiding the breeding ground for ulcers. Avoid stressful situations like staying up late or working overtime. Elevate your spirit, and no matter how difficult things may seem, time cannot overcome your purpose in life. Set the bar high for your life goals, such as seeking happiness for readers, as I am doing now ;-)

If anxiety problems cannot be resolved, seeing a psychologist is necessary. In addition, friends who are proficient in English can download for free online the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel’s (EPUAP) guidebook titled “Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers,” which is over 300 pages.

Disclaimer: This article is not a medical guide but rather a personal sharing of experiences. Please note that if you have had an ulcer for three weeks and it still hasn’t healed, it may indicate the presence of other systemic illnesses that require the assistance of a healthcare professional.