Mouth Sores

What are mouth sores?

Sometimes you might have sores, also called ulcers, inside your mouth on the inner lining of your cheeks or lips. Mouth sores are small, shallow, round- to oval-shaped, and painful. They generally heal in about two weeks, but can last as long as six weeks. They are more common in Crohn’s disease (10% of patients have these) than ulcerative colitis (4%).

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Causes of mouth sores in IBD

The causes of mouth sores in IBD are not clear. They do not seem to be related to vitamin deficiencies, and the sores do not tend to improve with vitamin therapy. They do tend to occur during times of IBD inflammation.

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Strategies to manage mouth sores

If you are experiencing mouth sores, you can try:
  • Salt water rinses

  • Topical anesthetics, such as xylocaine

  • Steroid elixirs (liquids) or topical steroids

  • Systemic steroids (pills) for more severe mouth sores or sores that will not go away

  • Rarely, topical antibiotics

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