Hello, I am in my late twenties and have suffered with severe mouth ulcers since my childhood. I don’t think there is an area in my mouth which hasn’t seen an ulcer appear on it at some point.
As a child I was usually quiet, not just because I was a little shy, but because it was rather miserable to talk with a mouth full of ulcers and I would often feel drained and tired too. My family GP ran blood tests to check for obvious causes such as allergies and anaemia but they all came back negative. I was prescribed many creams, ointments, sprays and even had my tonsils removed as I would often have bouts of mass ulcers on them and in my throat. I don’t recall anything being effective other than time as the ulcers would usually subside after 10 days or so. I might have had a week or so before more would appear and the vicious cycle would start all over again.
With doctors unable to identify a cause I was referred to a dental hospital as a teenager. I went through more blood tests, observations and check up appointments but again nothing came back as conclusive. I had stopped bothering with any form of prescribed treatment and learned to live with the mouth ulcers. Unfortunately during these teenage years along came metal train track braces on both sets of teeth which aggravated the inside of my cheeks and lips causing further ulcers. I can recall my night time routine of rolling red wax around my fingers to warm it up before moulding it to my braces to help protect the inside of my mouth from further abrasion during my sleep. Then came the morning fun of picking the wax off before breakfast!
I have always had pretty good oral hygiene (no fillings yet – touch wood!) but have the misfortune of naturally yellowish teeth so would often use whitening toothpaste. In my early twenties I was searching online for a new whitening toothpaste but came across an article about a link between SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate) found in toothpaste and mouth ulcers. Since then I have only used SLS-free toothpastes and have seen a notable difference in the amount of ulcers and their duration.
I am not rid of ulcers though and still have some beasts pop up. A couple of years ago I joined a new dental practice and it just so happened that I was suffering with a nasty bout of them at the time of my first appointment. The dentist was shocked at the size of them and immediately referred me to a local hospital to have them looked at. I was quite surprised at his reaction as the ulcers had just become so normal to me and from my past experiences I wasn’t expecting much in terms of medical help.
Unfortunately by the time my hospital appointment came through and I went to see the specialist they had cleared up. My husband encouraged me to go along though as he felt there would be medical advancements since my childhood. So off we went and it ended as well as I had expected – in and out in less than a five minutes! The “specialist” also concluded that they still don’t know the exact reason for recurring mouth ulcers in individuals with no obvious medical conditions.
The other notable difference in my mouth ulcers is pregnancy. I now have two children and noticed that whilst pregnant I do not seem to suffer my ulcers very often and if they did pop up they would only be small and gone much sooner than usual. I had my second child quite recently and within a few weeks of the postnatal period the ulcers were back!
So after exhausting both the NHS and private doctors/dentists I have set up this blog to document my experiences which I hope will help other mouth ulcer sufferers. I have also created a forum which I hope will become a great resource with the contribution of other sufferers, where we can all discuss our possible links with ulcers whether it’s diet, toiletries or medical conditions and more importantly our successful treatments!
Thanks for reading