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How Traumatic Ulcers of Mouth Occur | Causes & Treatment | Prevention

What is Traumatic Mouth Ulcers

Ulcers formed in the oral cavity because of trauma are called as traumatic ulcers. Traumatic injuries involving the oral cavity may typically lead to the formation of surface ulcerations. The injuries may result from events such as accidentally biting oneself while talking, sleeping or thermal, chemical and mechanical trauma. Ulcers are painful sores and they are usually red or yellow in color. These traumatic ulcers cannot be caught by kissing or sharing drinks and utensils as they are not caused by infection.

traumatic ulcersThese ulcers are seen in newborns, children and adults.

Newborns and infants:

Sublingual ulcers may occur as a result of chronic mucosal trauma due to adjacent anterior primary is often associated with breast feeding.


Electrical and thermal burns are commonly seen.


  • Carious, malposed, fractured teeth
  • Poor fitting dentures
  • Overheated foods
  • xerostomia

What are the Causes of Traumatic Ulcers?

  • Mechanical trauma
  • Chemical
  • Thermal
  • Electrical
  • Irradiation
  • Parafunctional habits

Mechanical trauma:

Mechanical trauma occurs due to

  • Sharp edges of teeth
  • Dental fillings
  • Crowns
  • poor fitting Dentures
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Braces
  • Accidental biting
  • Rough foods
  • Trauma to the soft tissue may occur during dental treatment.

Thermal trauma:

It occurs due to

  • Hot food
  • Hot beverages
  • Microwave food

Commonly occurs on palate, posterior buccal mucosa

It appears as zones of erythema and ulceration with necrotic epithelium peripherally.

Electrical trauma:

Chewing the live electrical wires cause electrical trauma.

Ulcers are commonly seen at the corner of the mouth.

Initially painless, chared, yellow color with little bleeding later swelling appears. After that necrosis of ulcer occur. Later the necrotic epithelium sloughs off.

Chemical trauma:

Occurs mostly in children and psychiatric patients

Chemical injury depends on

  • Concentration of chemical agent
  • Time duration of chemical action on the mucosal surface.

Examples of chemical irritants

  • Aspirin
  • Eugenol
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Irradiation trauma:

Due to radiation therapy stomatitis may develop associated with mucosal erosions and ulcers. Effect of radiation on salivary glands:-radiation on salivary glands may decrease the saliva production. Decreased production of saliva leads to lack of lubricating function which results in frictional damage and thinning of mucosa (mucosal atrophy) and breach of epithelium

Radiation effect on jaw bones:-Radiation damages the osteocytes. Hypovascular, hypocellular, hypoxic conditions occur due to osteocyte damage. This condition is called as osteoradionecrosis. It causes chronic pain and surface ulceration. Commonly affected jaw bone is mandible.

Parafunctional habits:

Bruxism, thumb sucking may be associated with the development of trauma of the buccal mucosa, labial mucosa, sides of tongue and palate.

What is the Treatment for Traumatic Mouth Ulcers?

Treatment procedure depends on

  • Size
  • Duration
  • Location

For minor ulcers

  • Remove the irritant
  • Use soft mouth guard
  • Use sedative mouth rinse
  • Application of topical anesthetics
  • Application of topical corticosteroids
  • Mechanical ,thermal burns will resolve within 10-14 days
  • Antibiotics will be given to prevent secondary infections. But most of the ulcers resolve without taking antibiotics.

Doctor consultation is necessary for chronic ulcers

How Can I Prevent Mouth Ulcers?

  • Remove the irritants
  • Restore the carious teeth
  • Correction of malposed teeth
  • Replace the poor fitting dentures
  • Sharp cusps of teeth should be rounded
  • Use rubber dam during operative procedures
  • Electrical cords and wires should be kept away from the children
  • Eliminate the Para functional habits such as bruxism, thumb sucking
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Use soft bristled tooth brush
  • Regular dental visits

Dental Health Guide, Providing information on dental care and dental hygiene along with detailing the most common dental diseases with symptoms and treatment methods. Readers should use the dental articles as reference only and consult a dentist and visit a dental clinic for dental health problems.

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