Ulcerative colitis or UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. UC causes inflammation in your colon which can trigger a number of symptoms.

These symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloody stools.

Moreover, UC can also cause mouth sores to develop in your mouth.

In most cases, you may experience the symptoms of UC in flare-ups, that can occur before a period of remission.

Moreover, during remission, you may experience lesser symptoms than usual or no symptoms at all.

Common symptoms of US are diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, blood, mucus, and pus in the stool, and the urge to have a bowel movement.

Keep on reading to learn more about the link between UC and mouth sores as well as the medications that can cause them.

It will help you understand the treatment if you are also having mouth sores.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

The symptoms of UC can vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs.

The signs and symptoms include:

Diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal pain. rectal bleeding, or passing of a small amount of blood with stool.

Moreover, the urgency to defecate, weight loss, fatigue, fever, and failure in growth in children are other signs and symptoms of this condition.

symptoms of ulcerative colitis

In most cases, individuals with UC have mild to moderate symptoms and the course of UC may also vary.

Types of UC

Doctors often classify UC on the basis of location. The types of UC are as follows:

  • Ulcerative proctitis
  • proctosigmoiditis
  • left-sided colitis
  • pancolitis

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

The exact cause of UC is not known, however, many doctors believed that diet and stress might lead to it.

However, today, doctors are of the view that these factors may aggravate but do not lead to the development of this condition.

One of the possible causes of UC is an immune system malfunction.

causes of ulcerative colitis

When the immune system tries to fight back the invading virus or bacteria, an abnormal response causes your immune system to attack the cells in your digestive tract as well.

Moreover, heredity may also play a role in individuals who have family members with this disease.

However, in most cases, individuals do not have a family history of this condition.

Complications and Risk Factors of UC

Possible complications of UC are severe bleeding, a hole in the colon or perforated colon, dehydration, and bone loss o osteoporosis.

Moreover, an increased risk of colon cancer, rapid swelling, increase in the risk of blood clots in veins and arteries can also cause complications.

It is important to note the UC affects the same number of females as males.

It often begins before the age of 30.


However, it can occur at any age, and some individuals may develop it after 60 years of age.

Though white people are more prone to developing this condition, it can affect any race.

Moreover, you are at a higher risk of this disease if you have a close friend, like a parent or sibling with this condition.

Ulcerative Colitis and Mouth Sores

Ulcerative colitis or UC can cause sores to develop into any part of your gastrointestinal tract.

This means that the sores you develop can form anywhere, from your anus to your mouth.

Moreover, you may also experience different types of mouth sores, including canker sores and pustules.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small mouth sores that appear between your lower lip and the gums.

Moreover, in some cases, they may also appear alongside the base or side of your tongue.

They tend to appear during severe UC flareups and go away once the flareups diminish.

These can also be painful and often makes it difficult to eat and speak.

Pysotomatitis Vegetan

Pyostomatitis vegatan or PV is a rare and chronic condition that causes a number of white or yelow pustules to develop indie your mouth.

UC and Crohn’s disease can both cause the development of PV, however, it is more common in individuals with UC and Crohn’s disease accroding to studies.

Moreover, medical professionals strongly like PV with bowel diseases and may be first noticeable when you have this disease.

Taste Changes

If you are suffering from UC, then you will also experience changes in your taste buds.

According to a study, reduction in taste sensitivity to specific flavors is common if you have inflammatory bowel disease.

However, it reduces in taste when eating sweet, salty, bitter, umami, or fatty foods.

Therefore, with this condition, you may experience an increased perception of sour flavor than without this disease.

Other Conditions due to UC

Some other conditions that can affect your mouth due to UC are:

Dry Mouth

If you have UC, you will also experience a dry mouth and it can be due to certain medications that you might be taking to treat UC.

These medications are corticosteroids, antidiarrheal drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

According to a study, oral manifestations of UC show that if individuals have this condition, then about 10% of individuals will have dry mouth.

mouth sores 1

Bad Breath

Bad breath or Halitosis is also associated with UC. This might be related to dry mouth as well, as saliva tends to wash away dead cells and bacteria.

These are already present in your mouth.

Other Mouth Problems

Some of the other oral issues that are associated are:

Mouth Sores due to Medications

If you have ulcerative colitis, you may also experience mouth sores due to the side effects of certain medications.

However, you should discuss the changes to your medications with the doctor first.


These are drugs that your doctor will prescribe to treat UC and reduces inflammation in the lining of the intestines.

One of the side effects is that they may cause mouth sores and if you do develop them, then consult your doctor immediately.


Most often, doctors prescribe corticosteroids to treat ulcerative colitis.

While there is little evidence that corticosteroids can cause ulcers in the mouth, there is evidence that shows that these drugs can cause mouth sores.

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that causes white patches to form in your mouth and can also form sores in the mouth.

Treating Mouth Sores

Most often canker sores and other mouth sores tend to heal on their own with treatment.

However, there are some treatment options and home remedies you can use to get rid of them.

Medical Treatment

You may want to treat mouth sores with the help of medications. These are:

Topical gels or creams, pain relief or anti-inflammatory mouthwashes, nutritional supplements like folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc.

Steroid gels and anti-inflammatory medications can also help to treat sores.

However, you can also take pain relief medications to manage any pain due to mouth sores.

Thus, you can use medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Home Remedies for Mouth Sores

A number of home remedies can help to treat mouth sores and speed up the healing process.

However, there is no magic pill and it is unlikely that any remedy will cure the sores overnight.

Moreover, most of these remedies are not well studied, therefore, make sure to use them with caution.

You can use the following remedies at home:

Rinsing your mouth with 1 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water for 15 to 30 seconds as required.

To balance the pH of your mouth you can use a baking soda rinse. Yogurt contains probiotics that can help treat inflammatory bowel conditions, thus preventing sores.

Using honey can help reduce the pain, size, and redness of the sores as it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Oil pulling can also help as coconut oil has antimicrobial properties to kill bacteria and prevent them from spreading.

Preventing Mouth Sores

There is no proven method to treat mouth sores, however, there are a number of things that you can try to prevent.

These are as follows:

  • avoiding eating and drinking hot food and beverages
  • avoid abrasive foods and those that may stick in your mouth
  • practice good oral and dental hygiene
  • chew slowly
  • take B vitamins
  • stop smoking or using tobacco
  • drink plenty of water
  • use a soft toothbrush and avoid scratching the insides of your mouth
  • do not eat spicy or acidic food

Visiting a Doctor for Ulcerative Colitis

In most cases, mouth sores go away with time, however, you may want to speak to your doctor if you have mouth sores that are consistent for more than 3 weeks.

You may also want to contact your doctor if the sores worsen with or without treatment.

Moreover, it can also contact your docotr if the mouth sores come and go frequently.

Summing It

UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disorder and causes inflammation and ulcers in our colon.

This can often cause symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and abdominal cramps. Another possible symptom of this condition is the development of mouth sores. You may also experience other oral symptoms like dry mouth, taste changes, and bad breath.

Most often, mouth sores tend to heal without treatment, however, you may want to try some home remedies like ice, milk of magnesia, salt, tea bags, and baking soda. However, if the sores last more than 3 weeks, without improvement, or continue to come and go frequently, you may want to contact your doctor.