In this post, I will be telling you everything there is to know about canker sores. You might have heard about the term aphthous ulcers before which is what doctors usually call them. Canker sores are tiny sores that appear on the soft tissue on your gums or inside your mouth.
They can be painful, and make talking or eating more challenging than usual. Canker sores disappear after about one or two weeks, and they are relatively common. Around one in every five people get canker sores frequently. To find out everything there is to know about canker sores and some home remedies that you can try to make it better, keep reading.
Everything There is To Know About Canker Sores
Symptoms of Canker Sores
Canker sores are generally circular or oval and white or yellow in colour with a red border. You usually find them anywhere inside your mouth, usually around the tongue, inside of your cheeks, and the gums.
They sometimes appear on the roof of one’s mouth and you might experience a tingling or burning sensation once they show up. During more serious attacks, you might have fever, feel sluggish, or have swollen lymph nodes.
The Difference Between Canker Sores and Cold Sores
Cold sores usually are blisters that are filled with liquid and they are usually found on the lips, nostrils, or chin. Canker sores on the other hand are usually found on the inside of your mouth and are not the result of viruses like the case is with cold sores.
Cold sores are contagious and can be spread from sharing food or kissing. Canker sores are not contagious at all.
Different Types of Canker Sores
Major Canker Sores
Major canker sores are not commonplace. They are generally deeper, larger, and circular with a transparent border. The really big ones are incredibly painful and will have jagged edges. These canker sores take longer to heal , sometimes up to six weeks and might leave scars.
Minor Canker Sores
There are various types of canker sores, but the most regular ones are the smaller ones which are oval or circular in shape with a red border. They typically heal within a week or two.
Herpetiform Canker Sores
This type of canker sores only happens later in life. Having herpetiform canker sores does not necessarily mean that you have herpes since they are not caused by the herpes virus.
They are typically the size of a pinpoint with serrated edges. They appear in clusters of ten to hundred sores however they can make up a single large sore, and heal within a week or two.
Doctors are not entirely sure why canker sores form. They think it could be due to a combination of different things like:
- Particular toothpastes or mouthwashes
- Food sensitivities
- A deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, or zinc
- Brushing your teeth too hard or too much
- Dental work
- Hormonal fluctuations during your period
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
Medical Conditions That Cause Canker Sores
Canker sores could be the result of certain medical conditions or diseases, like:
- Celiac Disease – a severe condition which happens due to your body’s sensitivity to gluten.
- Behcet’s Disease – a rare medical condition that promotes inflammation in the body, particularly in the blood vessels.
- Lupus – a condition that causes your immune system to attack the tissues in your body.
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- AIDS or HIV – both which affect the immune system.
Who Is Susceptible to Getting Canker Sores?
Any person can get canker sores, however, they are typically more commonplace in teenagers or young adults. Women get them more frequently than men.
If you get canker sores quite often, it is possible that you have a family history of getting them. This is due to something in your environment (allergens, foods, etc) or because of your genes.
Home Remedies for Canker Sores
There are a few things that you can do to speed up healing or ease the pain. For example:
- Place ice on the canker sore.
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods.
- Brush your teeth mildly.
- Apply a pinch of magnesium hydroxide on the canker sore two times daily.
- Rinse your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water or salt water (One teaspoon with a cup of warm water).
Other Treatments For Canker Sores
If you only have a minor case of canker sores, other treatments will not be necessary as it will go away on its own after a week or two. However, if you have large, painful sores that do not go away, there are medications or other things your doctor can prescribe, which include:
- Nutritional supplements
- Cautery (a chemical which is applied to the area to burn the sore)
- Topical medications like gel, liquid, cream, ointment, or paste
How to Prevent Canker Sores From Developing
If you had canker sores before, the possibility is good that you will get them again. However, you can reduce your odds by doing the following:
- Follow a healthy eating plan
- Watch your stress levels
- Practice good oral health
- For dental work like braces, ask you dentist about dental wax to hide sharp edges
When to Consult a Doctor
It is best to contact your doctor if you have:
- Large and painful canker sores
- The pain does not subside
- The sores keep returning even before old ones have healed
- A high fever while having canker sores
- Having trouble eating or drinking
- The sores last for two weeks or longer
I hope my article about everything there is to know about canker sores have been useful and that some of these tips will help improve the issue.
Sending you loads of love, light, and canker-free vibes.