Me and my mouth ulcers
Mouth ulcers can be extremely painful! When they occur it can be hard to talk, difficult to eat, strenuous to smile, and traumatic to brush your teeth.
Things that help me when I get these unpredictable mouth bombs:
1. Mouthwash. When I get a mouth ulcer, mouthwash is my best friend. Be sure to grab mouthwash that contains alcohol, I find the alcohol free versions don’t work as well. I will put mouthwash on a cotton swab and let it sit for a while on the ulcer or I’ve used a cotton ball for larger areas of my mouth as well. Makes for great selfies. 🤳 After the direct soak, I then rinse my mouth with the mouthwash too. I try not to vigorously swish the mouthwash all over the place when I have targeted areas that are affected. Sometimes I will just tilt my head in the direction of the sore and allow the liquid to bathe my sore bits. I find the more often I do this a day, the better my mouth feels. Plus it often numbs the pain for a little while after.
2. Warm salt water. I find that rinsing my mouth with warm salt water can help. Again, I try to let affected areas soak in the salty goodness so I often avoid swishing the salt water around too much.
3. A soft toothbrush. Brushing your teeth with a mouth ulcer(s) can be traumatic! 😬 That great thing that makes your teeth shine turns into a long stick with 100,000 swords each strategically placed to poke your mouth ulcer over and over again. I normally use an electric toothbrush, but I can’t when my mouth has ulcers. I buy an extra-soft bristle toothbrush (I have used kids toothbrushes before) so I can brush my teeth in less agony and also brush my teeth at snail pace to avoid sparring with my gums. 🐌 I often turn on a good slow song and try to brush from start to finish. It helps distract me from the inevitable pain and also helps me thoroughly brush my teeth.
4. Pick the right foods. Eating is also very difficult with baby boobie traps on your gum line. I find liquids foods are helpful so if it’s very painful I can eat through a straw. I prefer fat smoothie or boba straws to the small ones simply because I find it feels more like eating than drinking. 😉 I stick to soups and soft foods as well when I am having trouble with my mouth ulcers. Blended soups are great! Potato, butternut squash, tomato, pretty much anything that can go in my blender works well. If solid foods are more your thing, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, bananas, applesauce, and rice work well for me too. Since everyone’s IBD diet is different I look at it as really any food that I can mash around in my mouth and swallow without risking choking if I can’t fully chew.
Mouth sores can be unpleasant especially when they turn your smile into a pursed-lip grimace just to avoid gum on teeth friction. 🥴 During these moments, I always take the time to remind myself that the mouth gremlins will go away with time and if I take care of myself, eat well and rest. Often my sores are linked to inflammation or a flare-up, so I know that if I take care of my IBD, the healing of my mouth ulcers will follow suit. 🤞
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