Mouth ulcers are small, painful lesions which can form on the lips, tongue, gums, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth. There are certain factors which may increase their occurrence, such as hormonal changes, emotional stress, certain medications, smoking, an iron or vitamin B deficiency, or a reaction to certain foods.

They can also be caused by injury to the mouth, such as from dentures, braces, or sharp-edged foods. If you’re susceptible to mouth ulcers, you may find they often appear at times of sickness when the immune system is already weakened.

Soothe the mouth

When you have a mouth ulcer, cold foods, such as a plain-flavoured ice-pop, can often help to soothe the mouth. To encourage as little mouth discomfort as possible eat soft, well-cooked, or puréed food, such as scrambled eggs, mashed bananas, milkshakes, custard, and semolina pudding. They will cause less irritation to the mouth as they are easier to chew and swallow.

Foods which are not very soft should be cut up small to ease discomfort and help the teeth and gums with the chewing process. Keeping well hydrated with water will help to maintain a moist mouth, while easing some of the discomfort. If you’re very sore, cool water can be taken through a straw.

Hot drinks

To speed up the healing of a mouth ulcer and to reduce the associated pain, it’s important to avoid foods and drinks that irritate the ulcer. Spicy, salty, citrus-based, or acidic foods are best avoided, along with rough or hard food such as raw vegetables, toast, crusty bread, or crisps.

Hot drinks and acidic juices can also cause discomfort to an already irritated mouth, while foods at room temperature or slightly warm tend to cause less irritation. To reduce the risk of reoccurring mouth ulcers, it’s important to maintain excellent oral care, and always use a high-quality toothbrush. A balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, will also help to keep the mouth healthy. Mouth ulcers can be quite common and normally clear up within a week or so, but if they are very painful, or if they are an ongoing problem, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor or dentist.

Soufflé Omelette

Eating can often cause a lot of discomfort when the mouth is sore, so it’s best to choose foods which deliver a good boost of nutrients in a small serving. Eggs are the perfect choice as they are packed full of vitamins and minerals. This soufflé omelette is light and fluffy, making it especially easy to eat when there is a flare-up of ulcers.

Serves 1

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 50g cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1tsp chives, finely chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Using a balloon whisk, and either by hand or an electric whisker, beat the egg whites until stiff.

    2 In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks, for about 2 minutes, together with a little seasoning of salt and pepper.

    3 Gently fold the egg yolks into the whisked egg whites and fold through half of the grated cheddar and all the chives.

    4 Add the butter to a medium-sized pan over a low heat, and once frothing evenly pour in the egg mix. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes.

    5 Turn off the heat under the pan. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place the pan under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes. Once cooked and the cheese is bubbling, carefully slide onto a warmed plate, fold over, and serve straight away.

    Golden Milk.

    Golden Milk

    Numerous studies have promoted turmeric for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making this warming drink both soothing and nutritious. Black pepper helps with the absorption of turmeric, so it’s always beneficial to add a little to any turmeric-containing dish.

    Serves 2

  • 300ml whole milk
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan over a low heat. Using a fork or milk frother, whisk continuously until the milk is hot.

    2 Divide between two mugs and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

    Read more

    Mayo students crowned winners of environmental innovators programme

    Coillte launches new forestry scholarship