Traumatic Ulcers Treatment & Management

Updated: Oct 09, 2017
  • Author: Glen Houston, DDS, MSD; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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Medical Care

The treatment of ulcerated lesions varies depending upon size, duration, and location.

  • With ulcerations induced by mechanical trauma or thermal burns from food, remove the obvious cause. These lesions typically resolve within 10-14 days.

  • Ulcerations associated with chemical injuries will resolve. The best treatment for chemical injuries is preventing exposure to the caustic materials.

  • With electrical burns, verify status and administer the vaccine if necessary. Patients with oral electrical burns are usually treated at burn centers. [13]

  • Antibiotics, usually penicillin, may be administered to prevent secondary infection, especially if the lesions are severe and deeply seated. Most traumatic ulcers resolve without the need for antibiotic treatment.

  • Treatment modalities for minor ulcerations include the following:

    • Removal of the irritants or cause

    • Use of a soft mouth guard

    • Use of sedative mouth rinses

    • Consumption of a soft, bland diet

    • Use of warm sodium chloride rinses

    • Application of topical corticosteroids

    • Application of topical anesthetics

A study by Jivanescu et al evaluated the effectiveness of a hydrogel patch to treat wounds of the oral mucosa caused by dentures in edentulous persons and found that the patch was an effective treatment for accelerating healing of traumatic ulcers and reducing the pain associated with them. In 23 adult patients with newly fabricated, complete sets of dentures, from baseline to day 1, the lesions treated with the hydrogel patch decreased in size by 25%; by day 7, they decreased by 75%. Lesions receiving usual care decreased in size by 10% (day 1) and 50% (day 7). Significant reductions in pain were reported as 65% for lesions treated with the hydrogel patch, versus 30% with usual care. [14]



Patients with repeated factitial ulcerations may be considered for referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.