What Is Canker Sores?
Canker sores are small sores that are seen in the mouth. Also called as aphthous ulcers, these form a small, oval to round shaped, shallow lesion with a red border.
These sores are painful and make it hard to eat and speak at times. Canker sores are often found:
- Inside of the cheeks.
- At the base of gums.
- On mouth palate.
- Inside of the lips.
- On the tongue.
- Near throat and uvula.
What Are The Symptoms Of Canker Sores?
- The only symptom of the disease is the formation of sores. A tingling or burning sensation might be there prior to the appearance of sores. These may be minor or major in severity.
- Minor canker sores are small and usually oval in shape. These measures less than about 10mm across and 2-3mm depth. They contain a white-yellow center with a red border. These may take up to 2 weeks to cure.
- Major canker sores are much painful. These are usually irregular in shape and lack proper margin. They measure up to 1 cm in depth. These may take about 3-6 weeks to cure.
- Swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and continuous fever.
What Are The Causes Of Canker Sores?
Though the proper cause for canker sores remains unclear, the following are listed as the triggering factors for canker sores:
- Injury to mouth.
- Food allergies.
- Mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
- Deficiency of vitamin B, iron, folic acid, and zinc.
- Infection due to bacteria.
- Emotional stress.
- Hormonal changes during menstruation in women.
- Also, canker sores are related to conditions like:
- Celiac Disease.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.
- Behcet’s disease.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Canker Sores?
The following are helpful in combating canker sores:
- Use a soft toothbrush and brush your teeth after meals to get rid of food particles that can trigger the formation of canker sores.
- Practice meditation to control stress in life.
- Understand the triggering factors of the episodes of canker sores are very often.
- If any signs of improvement are not seen in a couple of weeks’ time, one should consult a doctor immediately.
- Smudge a little amount of milk of magnesia on the sore part for at least 3-4 times a day.
- Rinse your mouth with over the counter mouthwash for 3-4 times in a day.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Canker Sores?
These are few of the factors to avoid in the management of canker sores:
- Avoid chewing gums and abrasive food like potato chips because such foods can stick in the mouth.
- Don’t touch the sores while brushing the teeth.
- Don’t chew tobacco or smoke as it can increase the chances of getting sores.
What Are The Best Foods For Canker Sores?
The whole canker sore diet should consist of soft, bland foods which are easy to swallow. These are some of the foods that can be effective in the management of canker sores:
- Baking soda: Use of baking soda helps in reducing the acidity in the mouth and also prevents the formation of new sores.
- Yogurt: As a rich source of good bacteria, yogurt helps to counter the bad bacteria present in the mouth.
- Black tea: This is shown to have a great effect in reducing the pain caused by canker sores with a compound called tannin.
- Vitamin B rich foods: Leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin B. Vitamin B helps in reducing stress in the body that is said to be causing canker sores.
- Parsley: It is said to possess high amounts of iron and folic acid that help in combating canker sores.
- Salmon: It is a rich source of vitamin B12 that helps in easing the condition of canker sores.
- Carrot: The Beta-Carotene compound in carrots helps in healing the sores.
What Are The Worst Foods For Canker Sores?
Here are few of the foods to avoid in case of canker sores:
- Spicy food: These can trigger the outbreak of canker sores or can aggravate existing sores. Some of the most common spicy foods include pickles, green chili curry, hot peppers, and garlic among others.
- Coffee: Coffee can irritate the sensitive membrane present in the mouth and can evoke canker sores.
- Tomatoes: These are excessively acidic when compared to other vegetables and are better to be avoided.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is said to possess a compound that dissolves the skin membrane in the mouth.
- Citrus fruits: These are highly acidic and are best to be avoided to manage canker sores.
- Fried foods: Chips, fries, and pretzels are deep fried in oil and packed with preservatives which can be the triggering factor for the development of canker sores due to allergies.
What Are The Medicines For Canker Sores?
What Are The Tips To Manage Canker Sores?
- Rinsing the mouth with salt water can help in combating bad bacteria in the mouth and balance pH levels.
- Several over-the-counter medications help in treating the excess acidic environment in the mouth.
- Use a straw to drink ice tea or water because if we drink directly it can touch the canker sore and can result in a stinging pain.
- Use ice on the sore until it gets completely numb.
- For people who are less than 20 should avoid aspirin because there is a risk of Reye syndrome.