Although not exactly a serious disease, canker sores can be very disturbing and may be painful at times. In addition, canker sores can make eating and talking quite uncomfortable and difficult. In order to learn more about canker sores, here is an overview of this common oral problem.
What is a canker sore?
Cankers sores are ulcers that are shallow and shaped like a crater and are usually found on the inside of the lips or on the tongue. The center of this ulcer can be white or yellow. While in most cases only one canker sore may be present, it is not uncommon to see multiple canker sores at a given time. This oral problem may be experienced by almost all of us but may be prevalent to those between 20 to 40 years.
What are the symptoms of canker sores?
A canker sore may easily be indicated by that shallow ulcer that can be found in the tongue and lips. The onset of canker sore may trigger a tingling or burning on the affected area which may be followed by pain and some swelling. Minor canker sores have been known to disappear within seven to ten days although some may take as much as six weeks to heal. Though not frequent, another canker sore may appear after the first one has healed.
What are the causes of canker sores?
The cause of canker sores has still to be identified although this disease has been observed to run in families. Unlike the cold sores, canker sores are not contagious. Conditions that have been known to increase the risk of cold sores include the following:
- Allergy to certain foods
- When a person is stressed or fatigued
- When the mouth has been hurt or injured such biting of the lips
- Associated with dental braces
- Acidic foods and drinks
- Lack of vitamins in diet
- For women, during the menstrual period
How are canker sores treated?
There may be no need to see a doctor for canker sores since these will heal on their own. However, there are also medications available that may make the healing of canker sores faster. But given time, canker sores will get better eventually.
To ease the pain and discomfort there are some things an individual may do. Drinking lots of fluids will help although some pain may be experienced when the fluid touches the sores. Foods that are easy to swallow should be eaten so as not to keep contact for longer periods with the sores. Brushing of teeth should be done carefully and avoid hitting the sores with the bristles. If it really gets painful, a sufferer may take some pain reliever that may be available over the counter.