Q. I've got a white sore patch in my mouth - what is it?

A. You probably have mouth ulcers. They’re common and should clear up on their own within a week or two. They're rarely a sign of anything serious, but may be uncomfortable to live with.

Avoiding things that irritate your mouth ulcer should help speed up the healing process, reduce pain and reduce the likelihood of it returning.

Try to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, drink cool drinks through a straw, eat softer foods and in the longer term. Get regular dental check-ups

And eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Don't eat very spicy, salty or acidic food, rough-textured, crunchy food - such as toast or crisps - or hot or acidic drinks, such as fruit juice.

A pharmacist can recommend a treatment to speed up healing, prevent infection or reduce pain, such as antimicrobial mouthwash, a painkilling mouthwash, gel or spray or corticosteroid lozenges

You can buy these without a prescription, but they may not always work.

Ulcers can also appear on the tongue.

You may have more than 1 ulcer at a time and they can change in size.

Most single mouth ulcers are caused by things you can try to avoid, such as biting the inside of your cheek, badly fitting dentures, braces, rough fillings or a sharp tooth, cuts or burns while eating or drinking – for example, hard food or hot drinks, a food intolerance or allergy, or damaging your gums with a toothbrush or irritating toothpaste.

Q. I keep getting dry and sore lips – please can you give me some advice to help them?

A. Dry and chapped or sore lips are a common problem, especially during hot or cold weather. There are a number of things you can try yourself that may help.

You can use a lip balm containing petroleum jelly or beeswax – you can buy these at a pharmacy or supermarket – these can really help keep the lips moisturised. Try a few different lip balms if one isn't working for you – some people may be sensitive to some fragrances or ingredients that some balms contain.

Always wash your hands before applying lip balm and particularly during the summer or if you are going somewhere with hot weather, I’d recommend using a balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.

Try to cover your lips with a scarf when you're outside in cold weather and make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. Whether you are out in hot or cold weather this can be a problem.

Please do not pick or bite any flaky skin on your lips – this can slow down healing, and don’t keep licking dry or cracked lips – while it seems natural and something which should make them feel better – it is quite temporary and can make them sore.

Always remember do not share lip balms with other people – this can spread germs and make the lips worse, rather than better.