What are Canker Sores?


What are Canker Sores?


Canker sores are those small and shallow ulcers appearing in the mouth making everyday activities like eating and talking uncomfortable. There are precisely two types of canker sores:

Simple canker sores

Prevalent in individuals between the ages of 10 to 20, these sores may appear three to four times in a year and last up to a week.

Complex canker sores

These are comparatively less common and occur more in those people who have previously encountered them.

What are the causes of canker sores?

The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, although tissue injury and stress are taught to be the cause of simple canker sores. Certain food items consisting of citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemon, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, and strawberries can trigger the formation of a canker sore. Canker sores have been observed to occur from dental appliances like braces.

Complex canker sores are sourced from underlying health conditions such as an impaired immune system, nutritional problems like lack of vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, iron deficiency and gastrointestinal tract diseases such as celiac disease or Cohn’s disease.

What is the difference between cold sores and canker sores?

Cold sores are also called fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1 and are masses of painful fluid-filled blisters. Unlike canker sores, cold sores are sourced by a virus and are highly contagious. Cold sores often appear outside the mouth, under the nose and around the lips or under the chin, while canker sores appear inside the mouth.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

You are a victim of canker sore if you sustain the following symptoms:-

  • Painful sore or a bunch of sores inside the mouth located on the tongue, on the back portion of your mouth or soft palate and inside your cheeks.
  • You experience a burning or tingling sensation before the sore becomes visible.
  • The sores observed are round, white or gray with a red edge or border.

In cases of severe canker sores, you may experience symptoms of:-

  • Physical tired
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How can canker sores be treated?

The ache from canker sores usually decreases after a few days and heal by itself in a week or two, without seeking any treatment. Excruciatingly painful canker sores need immediate dental attention and are treated with dental lasers which exhibit the utmost relief immediately.

How can canker sores be prevented?

Although there is no particular cure for canker sores, you can reduce their frequency by:-

  • Avoiding citrus fruits, acidic vegetables and spicy food that irritate the mouth.
  • Brushing using a soft-bristled brush post meals along with daily flossing help keep your mouth clean and free from food particles that may trigger sores.
  • Avoid irritation from gum chewing
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