Mouth ulcers are open sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Once formed, the ulcer may be maintained by inflammation and/or secondary infection. Mostly mouth ulcers are benign and self-limiting (e.g. when caused by trauma) but in some cases can become persistent and recurrent.
Many people that suffer from chronic ulcers have an immune system dysfunction, methylation cycle blocks, a chronic viral load or key nutrient deficiencies.
Causes of Mouth Ulcers
- Physical abrasion
- Infection e.g. Candida.albicans, EBV (Epstein Barr virus), CMV (Cytomegalovirus), herpes simplex
- Overconsumption of acidic fruit
- Certain chemicals and medications e.g. NSAIDs, SLS
- Food or chemical allergy e.g. gluten, mercury amalgam
- Hypochlorydia (low stomach acid)
- Bowel dysbiosis
- Smoking cessation
- Nutritional deficiency: vit C, iron, B12, zinc
TREATMENT STRATEGY FOR MOUTH ULCERS
- Identify / address underlying cause
- Relieve symptoms
- Support immunity
- Support digestion
- Balance bowel microflora
- Address nutritional deficiency
- Fresh wholefood diet high in phytochemicals and antioxidants
- Probiotic rich fermented foods
- Paleo style diet
- Probiotics: to balance bowel microflora
- Vitamin C immune support, tissue healing
- Zinc: immune support, wound healing
- Vitamin A: mucous membrane repair
- Folinic Acid: shown to control ulcers in clinical studies
- Digestive enzymes/acid: if digestive support needed
- Iron, B12: if anemic
Herbal medicine treatment
- Immune support: echinacea, astragalus
- Digestive aid: gentian, ginger
- Topical mouthwash: mix 1 cup peppermint tea with small amounts of Oregon grape, sage, echinacea, goldenseal and marshmallow. Swish and swallow three times daily.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICNE TREATMENT OF MOUTH ULCERS
The above considerations may assist in improving mouth ulcers.
Recurrent mouth ulcers require investigation into the overall health of the individual. Poor immunity, gut infections, methylation blocks and chronic viral loads all contribute greatly to the condition. Mouth ulcers are a sign of a deeper condition within the body that needs resolving, indicating lower immune function in the patient.
Advanced diagnostic testing with a comprehensive blood chemistry panel, stool testing and other specific functional tests should be considered when treating the root causes of mouth ulcers in patients. Other symptoms often accompany patients with mouth ulcers such as fatigue, digestive problems and skin complaints.
At our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine we have found mouth ulcers and other recurrent sores and conditions resolve after treating the body as a whole, addressing root causes of dysfunction.
If you or a family member require assistance with mouth ulcers, low immunity or other recurrent infections we would love to hear from you. How often are you experiencing mouth ulcers? What remedies have you tried that have assisted you? Please write a comment below.