Canker sore is also referred to as Aphthous ulcer or even Ulcer aphthous. This is a condition which usually occurs anywhere within the mouth however, it is often very painful and inflammatory when it afflicts at the tongue. It is wrongly believed that the condition may be contagious; the condition is not contagious and may not spread by any kind of virus. Neither is the condition caused by viruses but may develop due to allergic reaction to foods, side effects of medicines or local trauma. There are several factors that cause such trauma for example, injury due to bone, dentures or abrasive foods such as pretzels. Broken skin or abrasion of skin within the mouth may make you prone to such sores.
Canker sores are said to be painful in some cases; these sores appear to be white or yellowish and are outlined as well as surrounded by pinkish or reddish appearing skin region. However, these core are neither fatal nor cancerous. Most people confuse the condition with blisters experienced in fever also known as cold sores.
Causes of canker sores
Canker sore is considered as one of the most common kinds of mouth ulcers. These sores may also occur with viral infection but also in few cases the factor causing the issue cannot be understood. The condition is also sometime associated with the defense or immune system of the body. The condition may result after dental procedures, vigorously brushing your teeth or unintentionally biting your inner cheek or tongue. Here are some more causes that may lead to such sores:
• Emotional stress
• Insufficient vitamins or minerals in the body (mainly folic acid, vitamin B- 12 as well as iron)
• Menstrual cycles
• Hormonal changes
• Allergies due to food
Anyone cal fall victim to canker sores irrespective of gender or age; however, it is believed that women are more prone to the condition as compared to men. The condition may also be a familial issue in seldom cases.
Canker sore symptoms
This condition is generally noticed in the inner side of the cheeks, on tongue, inner side of lips, or even soft palate. These sores may also be have some symptoms which may include:
• More than one inflammatory red spots or minute bumps developing within an open ulcer
• The mid of the sore may appear white or yellowish
• These sores are usually very small with minimum 1 centimeter diameter but in some cases it may be larger
• There are possibilities that the sore may turn grey before it gets alleviated
Some less common symptoms of canker sore may include:
• Increased body temperature
• Discomfort feeling or uneasiness
• Engorged lymph nodes
The pain experienced in the condition usually ebbs away within approximately seven to ten days. However, it may take approx 7 to 21 days for the general canker sore to heal completely, but larger sore may take longer to heal. In some cases one may also experience non specific symptoms such as high fever.
Diagnosis for canker sore
There are various ways in which one can diagnose the condition of sore but before that you have to consult a health care provider to understand what diagnosis will be beneficial for you. Your doctor may often perform diagnosis in conventional way just by visually examining the sore. In case such canker sores are intermittent or persist for a longer time then it is essential to undergo tests in order to determine any underlying causes. Such tests may help in finding factors like allergies due to drugs, inflectional herpes or ervthema multiforme etc. In case conventional mode of diagnosis does not help in determining the factors causing the issue, then biopsy may be adopted to find out the root cause of the issue as well as to distinguish canker sore from other mouth ulcers. There are certain types of cancers that may initially seem like mouth ulcer. However, canker sore should not be confused with such ulcers as it is a benign condition which is not cancerous.
Canker sore home remedy and treatment
There are several ways to treat canker sores; however, in most cases a treatment may not be necessary as these sores are self restricting and may recede by themselves.In case you are suffering from such sores you need to take some precautionary measures such as avoiding hot and spicy food etc. There are some mouth washes that are available over the counter which may help in providing relief from such ulcers to certain extent.
Gargling or rinsing mouth salt water is a home treatment for sores which may prove to be beneficial. You may also find some over the counter medications or ointments that may help in soothing the pain. These ointments are synthesized with effective ingredients which are not harmful even when consumed; but prior to using any such cream or medicine it is crucial that you consider taking doctor’s advice.
If you desire to prepare an efficacious solution at home that should not be harmful as well, then mix hydrogen peroxide and water in equal ration. Use a swab prepared of cotton, soak in the solution and directly apply on the affected region. Also dab magnesia or milk three to four times a day on the sore. This will alleviate the pain and may also heal the sores. You can also prepare a mixture of Benadryl (allergy medicine) and milk in equal ration and swosh in your mouth for two minutes before spiting it out.
In severe cases of canker sore wherein the condition is inflammatory, it may be necessary that you seek medical attention and use medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Some common medicines which are usually prescribed by the doctor may include fluocinonide gel as well as chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash etc; however one should not directly use these medicines unless prescribed by your doctor. In some cases corticosteroids, which are highly efficacious anti inflammatory medicines with high power are suggested to the patient. In order to prevent any bacterial infection from aggravating the canker sore, it is wise to regularly gargle and brush teeth gently
Canker Sore Pictures