Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

Living with Lupus: Top Triggers & Tips to Combat Mouth Ulcers

Living with Lupus isn't easy. Lupus is an auto-immune condition which causes people to experience a wide variety of symptoms, affecting any part of the body.

A particularly common problem area is the mouth which means that mouth ulcers can be a persistent issue for those who have the condition. Lupus-induced ulcers have a very distinctive shape and colouring and are often used as a way of diagnosing the condition.Below is everything you need to know about the triggers lupus related mouth ulcers.

There are several common triggers for mouth ulcers which it's good to be aware of: 

  • Stress: If you are tired, your body can react with a breakout of ulcers. You should try to look after yourself by getting enough sleep well, maintaining a good diet and getting enough exercise.
  • Hard or acidic foods: The lining of your mouth is very sensitive and hard foods such as crusty bread can cause rips and tears which can lead to ulceration. You should avoid hard or acidic foods whenever possible 
  • Poor oral hygiene: Keeping your mouth as clean as possible is the best way to prevent oral health problems. You should maintain good oral hygiene, ensuring that you brush twice a day. 
  • Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can be associated with ulceration if excessively used. Other drugs commonly prescribed to treat Lupus such as methotrexate can cause ulcers as a side effect. If you think there may be a connection between drug use and mouth ulcers, consult your doctor. 
  • Deficiencies: Deficiency of Iron or vitamin B12 can sometimes be associated with mouth ulcers. If you have concurrent symptoms, such as excessive tiredness or problems with your memory, this may indicate such a deficiency. If this is the case, you should consult your doctor. 


There are treatment options for lupus caused mouth ulcers. The first port of call should be your doctor or dentist who will be able to advise you on the best course of action. Over the counter treatments are available. Pharmacist treatment for regular (non-Lupus) mouth ulcers can help to reduce pain and discomfort. You may also be prescribed steroidal treatment in a variety of forms (some doctor administered, some self-administered) or a course of medicated mouthwash.  

If you have lupus make sure that you are regularly checking your mouth for ulcers, if you do find yourself suffering from them, seek advice from your family dentist.