What are canker sores?

Canker sores are tiny and painful ulcers that develop inside the mouth, tongue and the inside lining of the cheeks, throat and lips. The sores are colored gray, white or yellow with a red border. They are the common types of oral lesions. Women are more susceptible to develop this condition than with men.

Categories of canker sores

  • Common canker sores about 3-10 millimeters and last for 10-14 days and heals without leaving a scar.
  • Major sores which are larger and deeper and about 10 millimeter in size. They have irregular borders. This sores last for weeks to months and heals with scarring.
  • Herpetiform sores are large groups of multiple sores and they are about 2-3 millimeters. 100 ulcers can develop at the same time and heals without leaving a scar.

Symptoms

canker sores

A burning, tingling or prickling sensations for 24 hours before formation of sores.

  • A burning, tingling or prickling sensations for 24 hours before formation of sores
  • Painful sores
  • Bleeding gums
  • Crater-like ulcers forms that are colored gray, white or yellow in color with red borders.
  • Lump or mass develops on the gums
  • Painful gum
  • Difficulty in eating, speaking or swallowing
  • Swelling lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Thrush infection in the throat and mouth

Causes of canker sores

  • Injury to the mouth due to vigorous brushing of the teeth, braces, dentures, dental work and injuries from sports.
  • Eating acidic foods that includes citrus fruits
  • Diets deficient in Vitamin B12, folate, zinc or iron
  • Allergies to certain bacteria present in the mouth
  • Hormones
  • Emotional stress
  • Allergies on food such as acidic foods, chocolate and coffee
  • Smoking
  • Toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Gastrointestinal tract diseases such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
  • Medications such as aspirin, oral nicotine, beta-blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and penicillamine

Treatment

  • Use the prescribed topical pain medications such as gels which are applied directly on the sores to lessen the discomforts and the pain.
  • Prescribed canker sore patches or canker cover to protect the sore for fast healing of the condition
  • Take the prescribed topical anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the inflammation and the pain.
  • Prescribed topical antibiotics to prevent the sores becoming infected by bacteria. Signs of infections include crusting, redness, fever and pus discharge.
  • Dissolve slowly few ice cubes in the mouth to lessen the pain.
  • Fill a cup with warm water and add a teaspoon of sea salt. Stir until salt is totally dissolved. Rinse the mouth using this solution at least several times every day to disinfect the area and lessen the pain. After rinsing the mouth, put some salt directly on the canker sore for fast healing of the condition. Repeat this process for 4-5 times every day.
  • Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a few drops of water. Mix them well until it becomes the consistency of a paste and then apply it directly on the sores. Leave it on for 5-10 seconds with open mouth. Repeat the process for 7-8 times every day for fast healing of the condition.

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