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If you have a mild mouth ulcer, there is usually no need for you to see your GP or dentist because these ulcers will usually heal within a week or two.
You only need to visit your GP or dentist if you have a mouth ulcer that is very painful or has lasted for more than three weeks, or if you are getting mouth ulcers regularly.
If you see your GP or dentist with a mouth ulcer, they will usually look inside your mouth to examine the ulcer first.
They may also ask some questions to help work out whether your mouth ulcers have an underlying cause or trigger. For example, you may be asked:
In some cases, your GP or dentist might consider carrying out or referring you for a blood test. A sample of your blood can be tested to check for signs of infection or inflammation and to check your levels of iron and vitamin B12, which can sometimes help identify an underlying condition that could be responsible for your mouth ulcers.
If you have had a severe mouth ulcer for more than three weeks, your GP or dentist may refer you to a hospital specialist.
You may also be referred if your mouth ulcer looks abnormal, for example if you have large red and white patches in your mouth that often bleed and are very painful.
The hospital specialist may decide to carry out a biopsy to help determine what may be causing your symptoms. This is a procedure in which a small tissue sample is taken from your mouth for further examination.
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