Painful Tongue Ulcers

Silver Nitrate Cautery versus Laser Cautery

Ulcers on the tongue are very painful and most of them are benign. Painless ulcers must be taken seriously and need biopsy to rule out malignancy. Most ulcers (Apthous) are caused by

• Biting between cheek, tongue and lip

• Chewing tobacco

• Braces

• A sharp or broken tooth or poorly fitting dentures

• Burning your mouth from hot food or drinks

Treatment may depend on the underlying cause of the ulcers

There are also some medications that can help heal these painful mouth ulcers on tongue.

It is important to find out the triggering causes of tongue ulcers. If spicy food is the reason for your mouth ulcers on tongue, stick to mild food.

• Taking vitamin B complex tablets is advised, because it assists in the healing process of the ulcer. Taking L-lysine 3-4 times a day, helps heal mouth ulcers.

• There are also various gel, pastes and mouth washes available for the treatment of tongue ulcers.

• A topical anesthetic (applied to a localized area of the skin) such as lidocaine or xylocaine may be used to relieve pain (but should be avoided in children).

• An antifungal medication may be prescribed for oral thrush (for fungal infection).

• An antiviral medication may be prescribed for herpes lesions.

• Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed for severe or persistent ulcers.

Silver Nitrate cautery under LA

This is very effective in getting rid of the pain (as it destroys the nerve endings at the ulcer base) and also promotes healing.

This is done under Local anesthetic.

Silver nitrate is a chemical compound with chemical formula AgNO3. Silver nitrate crystals can be produced by dissolving silver in nitric acid and evaporating the solution. The compound notably stains skin black color that is made visible after exposure to sunlight.

Silver nitrate has been used as an antiseptic too. Fused silver nitrate, shaped into sticks and is used as a cauterizing agent.

It can also be used in wound management to destroy granulation tissue in healing wounds such as ulcers and sinuses.

Silver nitrate can be used in a medical environment as a chemical cauterizing agent and medicinal caustic. A typical applicator is composed of 75% silver nitrate with 25% potassium nitrate. As the silver nitrate contacts with water (in the blood) the compound goes into solution forming nitric acid. The acid subsequently is responsible for the cautery effect.

Laser Cautery of Apthous Ulcers

Using Co2 laser, with a low voltage setting (CW-6) the ulcer base is cauterized. It gives as good a result as silver nitrate cautery. More over the healing is more rapid with this technique.