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Aphthous Ulcer – What to eat, What to avoid?

What to eat, what to avoid when having an aphthous ulcer? This problem is not uncommon, and if you are finding answers to it, check out this article.


Aphthous ulcer is a condition in which inflammation occurs, creating ulcers of various sizes at the oral mucosa. It is common in the cheeks, gums, tongue, palate, and inner lips.

This condition can appear in one or many locations. In addition, they are not cyclical or fixed. A person can experience them several times a year.


Aphthous ulcer is classified as an autoimmune disease. Up to this day, the causes of the condition have not been accurately and completely identified. It can be caused by a combination of genes, the body’s immune system, or environmental factors.

Several causes for aphthous ulcers:

    • Injuries: Accidents when brushing teeth, biting inner cheeks, etc. is often the starter for this condition.
    • Hot and spicy foods: Many people believe that eating these foods irritates the mucosa in the oral cavity, causing inflammation in these areas.
    • Internal heat: Sometimes, the consequence of internal heat is not pimples on the face, neck, or back, but an ulcer in the mouth.
    • Oral cavity problems: Wisdom teeth, sore throat, tonsillitis, etc.
    • Weakened immune system: Many cases indicate that ulcers form in the mouth when under illnesses, stress, etc.
    • Lack of substances: Iron, vitamin, zinc, etc.
    • Endocrine changes: Menstrual periods, pregnancy, etc.

In addition, this condition may be influenced by genetics. However, not all children will have aphthous ulcers with the same frequency as their parents do.

Manifestations and impacts

Aphthous ulcers are easy to identify as patients will notice red spots that develop into ulcers in the oral cavity. The middle of those spots is white or yellow and is the site where an aphthous ulcer begins to form. As they heal, the ulcers may turn gray. Usually, the ulcers’ size is not too big and deep, with the width not exceeding 1 cm.

The condition is often associated with feelings of pain. For many people, the ulcers are also easily touched by their teeth, causing pain every time they speak or eat.

In general, aphthous ulcer only leads to inconveniences and difficulties in eating and communicating. However, if it persists, precautions should be taken because this can be a manifestation of many dangerous diseases, especially oral cavity cancer.

Besides, aphthous ulcers can spread; therefore, it is advisable to find suitable early treatment.

Food options

What to eat?

Choosing food is quite important when having an aphthous ulcer. Not only does it help with absorbing nutrients during eating, but it also can reduce inflammation and mouth ulcers.

Recommended foods:

    • Rich in nutrients and vitamins: vegetables, fruits, etc.
    • Rich in probiotics and provide resistance: water, yogurt, etc. 
    • Soft: soups, soft cakes, etc. 
    • Cool: succulent fruits, Centella, green tea, etc.

What to avoid?

To reduce pain and stinging, patients should not eat or drink:

    • Strong spices such as chili, pepper, etc.
    • Food that is too salty and all kinds of fish sauce
    • Fried food
    • Sour foods such as lemons, plums, etc.
    • Alcohols or stimulants such as tobacco, wine, beer, etc.

What to do when having aphthous ulcer

In common cases, ulcers can heal on their own in about 1 to 2 weeks. Patients can follow a cool food diet to recover faster. However, with severe cases of aphthous ulcers, medical treatment should be considered. You should visit a medical facility to examine the source of it as well as the cause of the prolonged condition.

Several treatments prescribed by doctors:

    • Use anti-inflammatory mouthwash that contains pain relievers to reduce ulcers.
    • Use ointments to reduce pain and enhance recovery.
    • Take medicines prescribed by doctors with severe ulcers.
    • Take supplements with necessary micronutrients to increase resistance and enhance recovery.
    • Burn ulcers in case of severe infection.

Additionally, if aphthous ulcers are related to other health problems, doctors will conduct treatment for this condition to solve the root cause.

Apart from the concern about what to eat when having an aphthous ulcer, we also need to avoid foods that are not suitable. Furthermore, the condition should be treated at the right time. Because aphthous ulcer stems from many causes, check your health when it lasts too long to take care of yourself.

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