Best Mouth Ulcer Gel 2024

Discover the best way to alleviate mouth ulcers with the best mouth ulcer gels reviewed by a dentist.

These are my recommendations for the best mouth ulcer gels 2024.

As a dentist I see how much pain and discomfort ulcers can cause. Even the occasional ulcer can cause difficulty eating.

Some people suffer from recurrent ulcers, and require a regime that helps relieve symptoms and speeds up healing in times of need.

As a dentist I’ve looked at all the over-the-counter products available to try and find which is best for each situation.

The best mouth ulcer gel overall is the Anbesol Adult Strength Gel for Effective Oral Pain Relief as it works effectively, is long lasting, helps healing and is good value for money.

There are different ingredients which work better in different situations. Distinguishing between products for kids and adults is also very important. Read on to find out more.


What is a mouth ulcer exactly?

A mouth ulcer is the loss of the surface level mucosa inside your mouth.

It can be present on you cheek, tongue or other soft tissues in your mouth,

It can be caused by trauma, being run down, or by an underlying conditions. Mostly harmless, they can be uncomfortable, and usually take around 7-10 days to resolve. Common symptoms include pain, soreness and tingling in the area.

It may hurt when you eat, or stop you brushing your teeth as well as you would normally. 

Using a gel or ointment can provide relief from pain, reduce the chance of infection, and speed up the healing process.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers?

There are a few main causes and triggers for ulcers:

  • Cheek biting,
  • Dental Trauma. Rubbing orthodontic wires, dentures, or a sharp tooth rubbing on your tongue. You should see a dentist to have these adjusted.
  • Damage from over-brushing.
  • Vitamin Deficiency. A blood test from your GP may be required to check B12 and Iron levels.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy.
  • Stress
  • Underlying medical condition such as Chron’s
  • Smoking / Excess alcohol consumption

WARNING IMPORTANT – If you have an ulcer that has not healed in three weeks, you need to have it looked at by a dentist . Non healing ulcers could be a sign or cancer. 

Why is it important to treat ulcers?

If your ulcer is uncomfortable you might not be able to eat properly, brush your teeth well, and might not be able to wear a denture or oral appliance. 

The cleaner you keep the areas, the less it will get irritated, the quicker it will heal.

Keep the area protected and free of bacteria, and the surface mucosa will regrow and protect. Mouth ulcer gels provide relief from discomfort and pain as they are analgesic.


Top Picks for Mouth Ulcer Gels

Best mouth ulcer gel for recurrent ulcers – Anbesol Adult Strength Gel

Best mouth ulcer gel for trauma on gums – Bonjela Antiseptic Pain-Relieving Gel

Best mouth ulcer gel for painful ulcers – Orajel Mouth Gel

Best gel for gum Irritation –  Gengigel

Best mouth ulcer gel for kids – Aloclair Mouth Ulcer Treatment Gel

Best teething gel for kids – Bonjela Teething Gel


Best Mouth Ulcer Gel for Recurrent Ulcers

Anbesol Adult Strength Gel for Effective Oral Pain Relief from Mouth Ulcers and Denture Irritation, 10g (12+ Years) 

  

Main Active Ingredients:

Lidocaine 2%, Chlorocresol, Cetylpyridinium Chloride

How it works:

Lidocaine helps to numb the area, and the other two ingredients are antiseptic to prevent infection.

Why our dentists recommend this gel:

This gel has 3 ingredients which help provide relief. 2% Lidocaine is fast acting, and is the same ingredient dentists use to numb up your mouth before a procedure (1). It’s a high strength dosage, so only recommended for adults.

It also contains clove oil which is soothing on dental soft tissues.

The gel has good consistency for application, and is sugar free. Can be used every 3 hours.


Best Mouth Ulcer Gel for Trauma

Bonjela Antiseptic Pain-Relieving Gel for Mouth Ulcer Treatment, Cold Sores, Dentures and Mouth Inflammation 15 g

  

Main Active Ingredient:

Choline salicylate 8.714%

How it works:

Choline salicylate is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. It is used to decrease swelling and to treat mild-moderate pain.

It is an analgesic, anti-pyretic and anti-rheumatic.

Why our dentists recommend this gel:

Bonjela works using the steroid Choline salicylate to effectively help healing of ulcers. It’s a clear colourless gel which is easy to apply and long lasting (2).

It works to reduce inflammation rather than numbing up the area fast.

Its best to avoid steroid use long term for recurrent ulcers, opting instead for a local aesthetic and antiseptic gel instead like Anbesol.

NOTE: Do not give to children and adolescents under 16 years of age. This is because there is a possible association between salicylates and Reye’s syndrome when given to children. Bonjela’s active ingredient – choline salicylate, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) – can lead to toxicity when the product is used too often. The rise of toxicity is greatest in children. (https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2009.380)


Best mouth ulcer gel for painful ulcers

Orajel Mouth Gel, 5.3g

  

Main Active Ingredient:

Benzocaine 10%

How it works:

A Strong local anaesthetic, it helps numb the area and reduce pain and discomfort.

Why our dentists recommend this gel:

Out of all the products we tested, this contained the highest dosage of local anaesthetic, and is therefore suited to the most painful ulcers. It’s needs to be applied carefully, and can be used 4 times a day for 4 days.

It also contains eugenol, another common material used by dentist to soothe pain.

Orajel moistens on contact and protects dry mouth tissue, helping to promote healing. Patients tend to like its fruity flavour, but it’s not appropriate for use for under 12s.


Best for Gum Irritation

Gengigel Clinically Proven Pain Relief and Healing Oral Gel, 20 ml

  

Main Active Ingredient:

Sodium Hyaluronate

How it works:

Covers the area effectively blocking the nerve endings. Enhances tissue hydration and encourages healing.

Why our dentists recommend this gel:

Gingigel is a versatile product which can be used on ulcers, but also generally on gum soreness. Its active ingredient, hyaluronic acid, mainly works to cover over the injured area in order to protect it (2).

It works great where you’ve burnt your mouth or caught it with something, as the gel can be spread over a larger area. Patients also use it for generally sore gums to positive effect.


Best mouth ulcer gel for kids

Aloclair Mouth Ulcer Treatment Gel

  

Main Active Ingredient:

Aloe Vera

How it works:

Forms a film over the area, which provides pain relief and promotes healing.

Why our dentists recommend this gel:

Aloclair PLUS Gel offers a no-touch, hygienic application to soothe the pain of mouth ulcers due to its specially designed nozzle. It’s often difficult to help kids with application of the gel, and this makes it much easier to target the exact area.

Children aren’t always the best at washing their hands too, so this again will help to prevent the ulcer from becoming infected.

Gel rapidly forms a film to help with mouth ulcer pain relief, and last for a few hours. Its also alcohol free, which means no stinging and tears on application.


Best teething gel for kids

Bonjela Teething Gel 15g

  

Main Active Ingredients:

 0.33% Lidocaine Hydrochloride

How it works:

Mild Anaesthetic numbs the area, and also contains an antiseptic (0.01% Cetalkonium Chloride) to reduce chance of infection.

As a dentist, I highly recommend Bonjela Teething for kids due to its fast-acting and soothing properties.

This product is suitable for children aged 6 months and older and does not contain any flavors or preservatives.

With 0.33% lidocaine, it effectively numbs the gums to provide relief from teething discomfort. The absence of sugar in Bonjela Teething makes it a safe and beneficial choice for young children.

Remember: Never use Adult Bonjela for kids as the strong steroid ingredients can be toxic for under 16s.


Buying Guide for Mouth Ulcer Gels

There are many factors to Consider When Choosing a Mouth Ulcer Gel. Heres a quick guid to help you

Ingredients

Benzocaine: The main numbing ingredient, is a topicsal anaesthetic. If you cant feel the area, the pain goes away provides relief you can eat and drink 

Lidocaine: Another common topical anaesthtic found, potent, ebay to apply. Pain pathway temp blocked.

Chlorocresol: Mild antiseptic which kills bacteria and fungi, prevent infection.

Cetylpyridinium Chloride: Also antiseptic

Fast-acting vs. long-lasting relief

When considering mouth ulcer gels, it’s important to understand the difference between fast-acting products containing local anesthetic and those with healing properties such as steroids. Fast-acting gels with local anesthetic provide rapid relief by numbing the affected area, effectively reducing pain intensity. This quick response is particularly beneficial for addressing immediate discomfort.

On the other hand, gels containing steroids focus on providing long-lasting relief by reducing inflammation and promoting healing over time. Understanding these differences can help you choose the most suitable product based on your specific needs and preferences.

Budget considerations

When considering budget-friendly options for mouth ulcer gels, it’s important to weigh the cost against the product’s effectiveness and suitability for your needs. While some fast-acting gels with local anesthetic may be more affordable, others containing healing properties such as steroids might require a higher initial investment.

If you suffer from recurrent ulcers, the price of the gels can soon add up. If you find a product that works, buying in bulk may help to reduce the burden. Just keep an eye on expiry dates.

Texture and Application

Gels are generally preferred for their smooth and easily spreadable consistency, allowing for effortless application directly to the affected area. On the other hand, ointments tend to have a thicker texture, which may require more effort to apply evenly. Understanding the differences in application can help you choose the most convenient option based on your preferences and comfort.

Flavors and Sensitivities

For individuals with taste sensitivities or those seeking sugar-free alternatives, it’s essential to explore suitable options that address these specific needs. Many mouth ulcer gels offer sugar-free formulations to cater to individuals with taste sensitivities or those aiming to minimize sugar intake.

Additionally, for those considering Anbesol, it’s important to note that while it contains alcohol and is suitable for use from 5 months and up, individuals with sensitivities to alcohol should exercise caution and consider alternative products that align with their preferences and requirements.

Long-Term Use and Sustainability

Some brands offer products with packaging made from recyclable materials or utilize sustainable practices in their production processes. By choosing eco-friendly options, you can contribute to environmental conservation and support the use of sustainable resources in the healthcare industry.

Buying Gels

When purchasing mouth ulcer gels, consider seeking out deals and discounts at local pharmacies, supermarkets, or online retailers. Keep an eye out for promotional offers, bulk purchase discounts, or loyalty programs that can provide cost savings.

Additionally, signing up for newsletters or following social media accounts of oral care brands may offer access to exclusive deals and coupons. By staying informed about available discounts, you can make informed and cost-effective choices when purchasing mouth ulcer gels.


How to Apply Mouth Ulcer Gel

Step 1: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to ensure they are clean before applying the gel.

Step 2: Using a clean fingertip or a cotton swab, take a small amount of the mouth ulcer gel.

Step 3: Gently dab the gel onto the affected area of the mouth ulcer, ensuring complete coverage of the sore.

Step 4: Avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes after application to allow the gel to adhere to the affected area.

Step 5: Reapply the mouth ulcer gel as directed by the product instructions or your healthcare professional for continued relief and healing.


Oral Care Tips

  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent irritation of mouth ulcers.
  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods that can exacerbate mouth ulcers and opt for a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote oral health.
  • Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution to soothe mouth ulcers and aid in the healing process.
  • Stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to the development of mouth ulcers.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral health check-ups to address any underlying issues that may contribute to the occurrence of mouth ulcers.

Why Trust Us

With a team of experienced dentists who regularly treat patients with mouth ulcers, we bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our recommendations for the best mouth ulcer gels. Our transparent review process ensures that our evaluations are unbiased and based on the tried and tested effectiveness of the products, rather than any promotional bias. Trust in our credentials and transparent approach for reliable guidance on managing mouth ulcers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to apply mouth ulcer gel for maximum effectiveness?

The best way to apply mouth ulcer gel for maximum effectiveness is to gently dab a small amount of gel onto the affected area using a clean fingertip or cotton swab.

How often should I apply mouth ulcer gel?

It is recommended to apply the gel to the affected area 3-4 times a day or as directed by your healthcare professional for optimal results.

Can mouth ulcer gel be used for children?

Before using mouth ulcer gel for children under 2 years old, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician to ensure safe and appropriate usage. Most teething gels are appropriate for children over 6m.

How long does it take for mouth ulcer gel to provide relief?

Relief from pain and discomfort can usually be experienced within a few minutes of applying the gel if it contains a local anaesthetic such as Lidocaine or Benzocaine, offering quick and effective relief.

What’s the difference between a mouth ulcer and cold sore?

Mouth ulcers are not contagious and should not be confused with cold sores. Cold sores are caused by a virus, appear on the lips or around the mouth and often begin with a tingling, itching or burning sensation.


Our Verdict

We know how uncomfortable and annoying ulcers can be. Finding the right gel that works for you can be a massive boost to your quality of life.

If you suffer from recurrent ulcers, and no over the counter remedies help, your dentist can prescribe you steroid lozenges or mouthwash if they deem appropriate. Find a dentist for a check up as soon as possible if you feel this may be the case.

IMPORTANT: Remember any ulcer which hasn’t healed within 3 weeks, may be a sign of oral cancer. You should seek professional medical/dental advice immediately.

Dr Jarri Amini

Dr Jarri Amini

BDS (Honours) London 2012. Jarri has worked as a General Dentist in West Yorkshire for over 10 years. He firmly believes that educating patients about their oral health is one of the most impactful aspects of his job. He has worked on the NHS and in Private Practice.

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