An ulcer is a depressed lesion that results from a loss of the the outer layer of the skin or mucosa (the lining of the mouth). Ulcers can be superficial (shallow) or deep, with regular or irregular outlines and flat or raised margins. Traumatic ulcers are usually quite painful, but they will heal rapidly once the source of the injury (such as rough edges on fillings or an orthodontic wire) is removed.

Ulcers can also be caused by an accidental injury, dental treatment, and self-induced wounds. They normally last 1-2 weeks, but they can continue if the source of the irritation persists.

* If infection occurs, we will prescribe antibiotics to control the infection and prevent its spread. A secondary infection may cause the

lymph glands in the region to enlarge and be painful to the touch.

* Rinsing with warm salt water can help relieve pain. Mix one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, and gently swish and spit.

* Over-the-counter medications can relieve the pain by numbing the area or laying a thin, protective film over the ulcer.