July 17, 2019

Canker sores: causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment.

Canker sore is the most painful sores in the mouth. The cause is unknown but thought to be associated with stress or tissue injury which could trigger or aggravate a canker sore.

Other triggers may include: poor nutrition, food allergies, menstruation, certain foods - including citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, and strawberries), can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse.

It’s also the most common type of mouth ulcer. Some people notice them inside their lips or cheeks. They’re usually white or yellow and surrounded by red, inflamed soft tissue.
Canker sores are different from fever blisters, which usually are on the outside of the lips or the corners of the mouth. Unlike fever blisters, canker sores are not contagious.

Types of canker sore

  • Simple canker sores; These may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. They typically occur in people within the ages of 10 to 20.
  • Complex canker sores; These are less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them.

What are the symptoms of canker sore 

  • Small white or yellow oval-shaped sore in your mouth
  • Painful red area in your mouth
  • Tingling sensation in your mouth

In some cases, other symptoms may also be present, this include the following:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Feeling unwell

How you can prevent canker sore

  • Employ stress reduction methods and calming techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation
  • Avoid excessive irritating foods including acidic or spicy foods.
  • Avoid irritation from gum chewing.
  • Brush your teeth with a soft brush after meals and floss daily which will keep your mouth free of irritating foods.

How canker sore can be treated 

  • Canker sores usually heal without treatment. However, there are many helpful lifestyle changes you can make to treat canker sores.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Avoid spicy foods to speed up the healing process.
  • Drinking milk or eating yogurt or ice cream can also help reduce the pain.
  • Pain can sometimes be severe. You can lessen the discomfort by gargling with mouthwash or salt water. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will help reduce pain.

Some over-the-counter topical products can help relieve and heal sores, these include the following:

  • Benzocaine (Orabase, Zilactin-B, Kank-A)
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinses (Peroxyl, Orajel)
  • Fluocinonide (Vanos)

Your doctor or dentist may prescribe:

  • Antimicrobial mouth rinse, such as Listerine or mouth rinses with chlorhexidine (Peridex, Periogard)
  • Antibiotic, such as mouthwashes or pills with doxycycline (Monodox, Adoxa, Vibramycin)
  • Corticosteroid ointment, such as hydrocortisone hemisuccinate or beclomethasone
  • Mouthwash, especially one that contains dexamethasone or lidocaine for inflammation and pain

Healthline: www.healthline.com/health/canker
WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores

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