Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, are tiny, painful lesions that occur in the mouth or at the base of the gums. They can make eating, drinking, and conversing difficult. Mouth ulcers are more common in women, adolescents, and persons who have a family history of mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers aren't communicable and normally heal in a week or two. However, if you have a canker sore that is huge or highly painful, or if it does not heal after a long period of time, you should consult a doctor.
Causes of mouth ulcers
Mouth ulcers are caused by a variety of factors. Certain causes and triggers, however, have been discovered.
These are some of them:
- Dental work, vigorous brushing, sports injury, or an accidental bite can all cause minor mouth injuries.
- Sodium lauryl sulphate is found in toothpaste and mouthwashes.
- Acidic fruits like strawberries, citrus, and pineapples, as well as other trigger foods like chocolate and caffeine, can cause food sensitivities.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency, zinc deficiency, folate deficiency, and iron deficiency
- An allergic reaction to germs in the mouth
- Braces for teeth
- During menstruation, hormonal changes occur.
- Whether it's due to emotional stress or a lack of sleep
- Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi
Mouth ulcers can also be an indication of more serious illnesses that require medical attention, such as:
- Celiac disease is a type of celiac disease (a condition in which the body is unable to tolerate gluten)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diabetes mellitus is a kind of diabetes.
- Behcet's disease is an illness that affects people (a condition that causes inflammation throughout the body)
- A faulty immune system, causes your body to attack healthy mouth cells rather than viruses and germs
Symptoms of ulcers
Canker sores are classified as minor, large, or herpetiform.
Small oval or circular ulcers that heal in one to two weeks with no scarring are known as minor canker sores.
Canker sores that are major are larger and deeper than those that are mild. It can take up to six weeks for them to recover because of their uneven edges. Long-term scarring can ensue from major mouth ulcers.
Adults are frequently affected with herpetiform canker sores, which are pinpoint in size and appear in clusters of 10 to 100. This form of mouth ulcer has uneven margins and heals in one to two weeks without scarring.
If you acquire any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:
- Mouth ulcers that are unusually huge
- Before the old ones heal, new mouth ulcers appear.
- More than three weeks' worth of sores
- Sores that don't hurt
- Sores in the mouth that extend to the lips
- Pain that isn't relieved by over-the-counter or natural remedies
- considerable difficulties with eating and drinking
- When canker sores form, they are accompanied by a high temperature or diarrhoea.
How to treat mouth ulcers?
The majority of mouth ulcers do not require treatment. If you develop mouth ulcers frequently or they're very painful, there are a few therapies that can help reduce the pain and speed up the healing process.
These are some of them:
- Using a saltwater and baking soda rinse
- Putting magnesia milk on a mouth ulcer
- Using baking soda paste to treat mouth ulcers
- Benzocaine (topical anaesthetic) medications such as Orajel or Anbesol are available over-the-counter.
- Canker sores are treated with ice.
- To minimise pain and swelling, use a mouth rinse that contains a steroid.
- Application of topical pastes
- Putting moist tea bags on an ulcer in your mouth
- Folic acid, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and zinc are examples of dietary supplements.
- Chamomile tea, echinacea, myrrh, and licorice root are some natural therapies to try.
Tips for prevention
Mouth ulcers can be avoided by taking certain precautions. It may be beneficial to avoid foods that irritate your mouth. Acidic fruits, such as pineapple, grapefruit, oranges, or lemon, as well as nuts, chips, or anything spicy, fall into this category. Choose whole grains and non-acidic (alkaline) fruits and vegetables instead. Take a daily multivitamin and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
To avoid unintentional bites, try to avoid chatting while chewing your food. Stress reduction and excellent oral hygiene, such as flossing daily and brushing after meals, may also assist. Finally, get enough rest and sleep. This will not only prevent mouth ulcers, but also a variety of other disorders. Soft bristle toothbrushes and mouthwashes containing sodium lauryl sulphate are avoided by some persons.
Canker sores are a painful and unpleasant condition that can be caused by a number of circumstances. The majority of canker sores heal on their own without the need for treatment. There are also a variety of home treatments for relieving symptoms, as well as various tactics for preventing them from developing in the first place. If your canker sore hasn't healed after a few weeks, or if you develop more serious symptoms or consequences, consult your doctor.