Stress: One of the Major Causes of Mouth Ulcers

What comes to mind when you feel tensed, pressured, or anxious? You just want yourself to get out of such situations, right? Well, you’re on the right track.

This article is going to take you on a journey to learn about how stress can have adverse effects on your health as well as your mind.

Stress is the most common thing that every person goes through, be it children, adults, or elderly. It affects you both psychologically and physically. But did you know that stress can result in many serious health problems, such as heart diseases, brain disorders, and oral health issues?

It describes the person who is mentally stressed.
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Connection between Stress and Oral Health

Many studies have suggested that frequent development of mouth ulcers is caused majorly by stress. How? Before answering that question, let’s learn more about mouth ulcers. 

Mouth ulcers are like small painful sores that often appear on your gums, inner lips, roof of the mouth, or tongue. The most common type of mouth ulcer is canker sores, which are caused mainly by severe stress. These ulcers create irritation and discomfort in the mouth like burning sensations and difficulty in eating and talking.

Under stress and anxiety, people are often tempted to lip-picking and nail-biting and even have the urge to continuously wet their lips. These obsessive habits result in bacterial infections and develop allergies in the mouth.

To understand it better, let’s take real-life examples you all must have gone through at some point in your lives. Say, at work, when you have to come up with a creative idea or while studying for an exam or coming up with a lie, you often resort to above compulsive habits.

The doctor is checking the patient for the treatment regarding mouth ulcers.
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What Causes Stress Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are often formed due to various stressful situations like:-

  • When a person undergoes a major surgery
  • Or when a person experiences chronic illness, which leads to regular visits to the hospital, thereby making the person drained physically.
  • Experiencing some kind of accident, such as falling from stairs, crossing roads, or road rage, can lead to brain injury, resulting in mouth ulcers.
  • Any long-term trauma or shock causes a harmful impact on digestive health and disturbs the pH levels of the stomach.
  • Stress even leads to bruxism, commonly known as constantly biting teeth. This destroys the teeth’ enamel and causes swelling in the gums.
  • Other oral health conditions, such as constant dryness in the mouth and gum diseases, are caused by medications taken for stress and anxiety.
  • Hormonal imbalances in women at the time of mensural cycle or menopause can result in mouth ulcers.

Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers

Person is irritated because of the painful mouth ulcers caused due to stress.
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These are some symptoms or signs to look out for stress ulcers:-

  1. A feeling of dizziness and nausea
  2. Continuous retching and heaving further lead to bleeding while throwing up.
  3. Burning sensations in the mouth from eating or drinking.
  4. Having digestion issues such as bloating or irritable bowel movements.
  5. Lower oxygen levels and blood flow lead to pale skin.
  6. Weakening of the immune system ultimately makes the body prone to oral infections.

Thus, you should closely watch your symptoms and get medical advice from your doctor.

How to Prevent Ulcers from Stress

There are many ways in which you can prevent yourself from having mouth ulcers, which are listed below:-

Some lifestyle changes that can help you avoid this problem are:-

  • You should avoid having spicy and processed foods that cause pain and difficulty in eating.
  • Maintain a good oral health routine by brushing twice a day and flossing your teeth regularly.
  • To reduce the bacteria or virus present in the mouth, you should use wash rinses. It also helps to reduce the swelling caused in the gums and mouth.
  • You should avoid consuming alcohol and smoking, which leads to decaying of teeth. This can also increase the chances of having mouth cancer.
  • Try to have liquids like coconut water, iced tea, and plain water in larger quantities as they provide a soothing effect in the sore area.
  • You should eat fruits that are easily chewable like banana, papaya, orange, and kiwi that don’t put pressure on the muscles of the mouth and can be swallowed without any discomfort.
  • For frozen items, try to consume soft foods such as yogurt, popsicles, and oatmeal.

Moreover, there are various measures that can be taken to manage your stress levels and maintain a good and nourishing body as well as a peaceful mind.

  • In order to reduce stress, you must adopt a healthy and positive lifestyle. 
  • You should make a routine to have at least one hour of exercise like walking, swimming, or playing any sport thrice a week. It will help you feel more spirited and lively.
  • You can practice meditation which helps a person to know one’s inner self and become more self-aware. Moreover, regular meditation helps you build a strong connection spiritually with god.
  • Try to get enough sound sleep which helps the mind and body relax and become active in the morning.
  • You should develop a sense of positive outlook and always be grateful for the little things that you cherish in your life and hold on to them.
  • Performing yoga will also help to reduce stress, become more attentive, and gain focus. It also helps in weight loss, thereby resulting in motivation in life.
  • Breathing exercises such as pranayama and other yogic breathing asanas help to calm the mind and body.
  • It is also recommended to practice deep breathing to reduce anxiety and nervousness in a stressful situation like a panic attack.
The woman is meditating to reduce and manage stress levels.
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Although stress ulcers usually go away in a week, by chance, if they don’t, then you should get it treated and take an appropriate medication course under your doctor’s supervision. Hence, you should try to work on yourselves, take it one step at a time, and everything will go smoothly.


In a nutshell, it is important that stress management should be practiced. To prevent oneself from developing sores in the mouth, which causes unbearable pain and irritation, you should learn to manage stress. Moreover, severe anxiety and nervousness might have a bad impact on your overall health.

However, stress ulcers can be treated by making healthy changes in your day-to-day life. Giving yourself a break to introspect, reflecting on your thoughts, and working with a planned schedule can bring peace to your life.

Last Updated on by Akanksha Raj



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