Stress is a major cause of mouth ulcers with an average 20% of all adults likely to experience stress-related mouth ulcers at some stage in their lives.
Up to 40% of children under 11 are also likely to experience mouth ulcers due to low immunity. Stress, although difficult to quantify, leads to a drop in immunity and creates vulnerability to the development of mouth ulcers, according to dentist, Dr Marc Sher.
Epidemiological studies show that mouth ulcers are more common in women and those under 45. Among adults, mouth ulcers occur most frequently among 16-25 year olds with 40% of anti-mouth ulcer product users below 11 years of age.
A mouth ulcer, also known as minor aphthae, is an open sore formed inside the cheek, on the tongue or on the lips and is approximately 3-5 mm in size. Once the ulcer has formed, it may be further aggravated by inflammation or secondary infections.
Mouth ulcers are extremely painful
The mouth contains good and bad micro-organisms and bacteria which have access to the surface of the wound. These bacteria produce toxins which further promote the cell death causing the ulcer to grow larger and become more painful.
In addition to stress, other causes of mouth ulcers range from genetic factors, haematological deficiencies (low Vit B12 and Iron), hormonal disorders and poorly fitting dentures and braces, said Sher.
“One of the likeliest causes of mouth ulcers amongst adults today is stress. If there’s any weakness or breakdown of skin on the cheek, lip or tongue and your immune system is low, an ulcer is likely.
“Once you have developed an ulcer, it can be extremely painful, making it difficult to eat and function. Dentists are often faced with this dilemma with patients wanting immediate relief,” added Sher.
Anaesthesia makes eating difficult
Now, OTC Pharma International has developed a remedy, Bye Mouth Ulcer!, which is clinically proven to provide immediate and direct relief to pain and burning associated with mouth ulcers – all the while encouraging healing.
Unlike most mouth ulcer medications, Bye Mouth Ulcer! contains no potentially harmful local anaesthesia.
Although anaesthesia provides instant relief to pain, it makes eating difficult, often resulting in biting cheeks and tongue and can lead to a burning feeling after application.
“Bye Mouth Ulcer! Is a film-forming gel which creates a protective shield over the mouth ulcer. The gel is oxygen permeable and water resistant, creating a layer over the ulcer and allowing healing to take place. This patented formula, which includes skin protectant, Dimethicone, is not acidic, so mouth flora will not be influenced or harmed,” says Giulia Criscuolo, responsible pharmacist for OTC Pharma SA.
Criscuolo suggests applying Bye Mouth Ulcer! four times a day to the affected area 30 minutes prior to eating. Eating natural yoghurt or taking probiotics will also help build the body’s immunity, further assisting recovery.
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(Press release, issued by Pharma SA, February 2012)