Canker sore — Know It All!


All you need to know about Aphthous Ulcer.

Know your ailment well, so you can manage it better!!

Here we come with Canker sore today!

What is Canker sore?

Canker sores are thin, superficial lesions that form on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums often referred to as aphthous ulcers. Unlike cold sores, on the surface of the lips, canker sores do not occur because they are not infectious. However, they can be uncomfortable and can find it hard to eat and talk.

The bulk of canker sores go down in a week or two on their own. If you have unusually big or painful canker sores or canker sores which do not appear to heal, consult with your doctor or dentist.

What are the types of Canker sore?

  • Minor canker sores. These may show up three or four times a year. They typically happen in people ages 10 to 20. They’re less than 1 centimetre across and heal in about a week with no scarring.
  • Major canker sores. These are less common. The ulcers are bigger and can last more than 2 weeks. They often heal with scarring.
  • Herpetiform canker sores. These are rare and show up as clusters of tiny ulcers. They usually heal in about a week.

What are the causes of Canker sore?

The exact cause of canker sores remains unknown, but researchers believe that, even in the same individual, a mixture of factors leads to outbreaks.

For canker sores, potential causes include:

  • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps or an accidental cheek bite
  • Toothpaste and sodium lauryl sulphate containing mouth rinses
  • Sensitivity to food, particularly chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, cheese, nuts, and spicy or acidic foods
  • Lack of vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron in the diet
  • An allergic reaction in your mouth to some bacteria
  • The same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers, Helicobacter pylori,
  • In menstruation, hormonal changes
  • Emotional strain

Canker sores can also occur due to certain illnesses and conditions, such as:

  • Celiac syndrome, a chronic gastrointestinal condition caused by a gluten allergy, a protein present in most grains
  • Bowel conditions that are inflammatory, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Behcet’s disease, a rare condition that induces inflammation, including the mouth, in the body
  • A compromised immune system that, instead of pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, destroys healthy cells in your mouth
  • HIV/AIDS, which inhibits the immune response
  • Canker sores are not associated with herpes virus infections, unlike cold sores.

What are the symptoms of Canker sore?

Canker sores inflict inflammation in the local body that can be irritated quickly. This is the only signs of basic cases, however, the pain may induce feelings of being fed up with the mouth ulcer.

Popular characteristics of canker sores include:

  • Well-defined, oval, less than an inch across, and typically shallow on the mucosal surface of the mouth’s lining.
  • Before they emerge, there is a tingling feeling occasionally.
  • A white or yellow-grey middle surrounded by a red border of inflammation.
  • Sometimes, with time, they turn to grey.
  • Typically on the front of the lips, on the floor of the mouth, on the underside of the lip (labial mouth), on the inside of the cheeks (buccal), or on the front or side of the tongue.

It often impacts the gums and the surface of the back portion of the mouth, which is relatively rare.

It usually lasts 1–2 weeks prior to recovery.

Symptoms may include, in some, more serious cases:

  • Sluggish sensation
  • Swollen nodes of the lymph
  • And fever

What are the risk factors of Canker sore?

  • Canker sores may be created by anybody. But in teenagers and young adults, they occur more often, and in females, they are more prominent.
  • People with chronic canker sores also have a family history of the disease. This may be due to ancestry or a shared environmental cause, such as certain diets or allergens.

How is Canker sore diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose a canker sore by examining it. They may order blood tests or take a biopsy of the area if there’s a severe breakout or if they think you might have:

  • a virus
  • a vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • a hormonal disorder
  • a problem with your immune system
  • a severe breakout

A cancerous lesion may appear as a canker sore, but it won’t heal without treatment. Some symptoms of oral cancer are similar to those of canker sores, like painful ulcers and swelling in your neck. But oral cancer is often indicated by unique symptoms, including:

  • bleeding from your mouth or gums
  • loose teeth
  • trouble swallowing
  • earaches

If you experience these symptoms along with canker sore symptoms, see your doctor right away to rule out oral cancer as a cause.

What is the treatment for Canker sore?

For mild canker sores, which appear to clear on their own in a week or two, care is typically not required. But sores that are huge, chronic or unusually painful also need immediate attention. A multitude of choices for recovery exists.

Mouth rinses

Your doctor can recommend a mouth rinse containing a steroid called dexamethasone to relieve pain and inflammation if you have multiple canker sores or lidocaine to reduce pain.

Topical creams

If applied to individual sores as soon as they appear, over-the-counter and pharmaceutical products (pastes, creams, gels or liquids) can help alleviate pain and speed healing. Any commodities have active ingredients, for example:

  • Or benzocaine (Anbesol, Kank-A, Orabase, Zilactin-B)
  • About Fluocinonide (Lidex, Vanos)
  • Peroxide hydrogen (Orajel Antiseptic Mouth Sore Rinse, Peroxyl)
  • For canker sores, there are also other topical options, including those without active ingredients. Ask for advice from your doctor or dentist that could fit well for you.

Oral medications

When cancers are serious or do not lead to topical therapies, oral drugs can be used. This may include:

Medicines are not expressly meant for the management of cancer pain, such as sucralfate (Carafate) used as a covering agent for intestinal ulcer treatment and colchicine, which is usually used for the treatment of gout.

Oral steroid drugs do not respond to other therapies when serious canker sores are present. Yet they’re typically the last resort due to serious side effects.

Cautery of sores

To smoke, sear or kill tissue, an instrument or chemical agent is used during cautery.

Debacterol is a topical solution designed to cure gum disease and canker sores. This drug can minimise healing time to approximately a week by chemically cauterize canker sores.

Silver nitrate has not been proven to accelerate recovery, but it can help alleviate canker sore discomfort, another alternative for chemical cautery of canker sores.

Nutritional supplements

If you eat low amounts of important nutrients, such as folate (folic acid), vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 or zinc, your doctor can prescribe a nutritional supplement.

How to prevent Canker Sores?

Canker sores frequently recur, but by following these guidelines, you may be able to reduce their frequency:

Watch your eating habits.

Try removing foods that appear to make your mouth annoyed. Nuts, popcorn, pretzels, some spices, salty foods and acidic fruits, such as pineapple, grapefruit and oranges, can be included here. Stop any food you’re susceptible to or allergic to.

Choose a diet that is balanced.

Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help avoid food shortages.

Follow healthy habits for oral hygiene.

Daily brushing and flossing once a day after meals will keep the mouth clean and clear of food that might cause a sore. To help reduce delicate mouth tissue inflammation, use a soft brush and stop toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulphate.

Safeguard your teeth.

If you have braces or other dental appliances, ask your dentist about orthodontic waxes to cover sharp edges.

Lower the stress.

Lower the stress. Learn and use stress-reduction approaches, such as yoga and directed photography, if your canker sores appear to be linked to stress.


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