Canker sores are also called aphthous ulcers, they are small damages to the tissue of the mouth or gums (most times at the base).
CANKER SORES cannot be transferred from one person to the other – they are not contagious. Having canker sores in your mouth can be a very bad experience as it causes pains in the mouth.
Canker sores usually heal without treatment. It can take up to a week or two for total healing and it is advisable to see your doctor if it takes more than this duration to go away.
Canker sores appear in the mouth as a semi-round shape, surrounded by a red border. They can be under the tongue, close to the lips and also on the gums.
Canker sores are of 3 types:
1) Minor canker sores
2) Major canker sores
3) Herpetiform sores
Minor canker sores:
1) Usually very small
2) Have oval shape surrounded by a red border
3) Usually heals without scars
Major canker sores:
1) Larger than minor canker sores
2) Round shape
3) Very painful
4) Take longer to heal (more than 5 weeks) and leaves scars when they heal.
Herpetiform canker sores:
1) No define shape.
2) It does not take long to heal and does not leave scars when gone.
3) Two or more sores can merger to become an ulcer.
People that suffer from canker sores should frequently see their doctor for a possible diagnosis for an underlying cause.
READ ALSO: DIAGNOSING AND TREATMENT OF CANCER
The causes of canker sores are not established. But there are reasons why the below reasons can cause them:
1) Shift in hormonal balance when menstruating.
2) Mouth rinse and toothpaste that contain a chemical called sodium laurel sulfate
3) Injury to the mouth caused by an activity like brushing and accident.
4) Bacteria effect in the mouth.
5) Being stressed out emotionally.
Most cases of canker sores go on their own but treatment can speed up the healing process and reduce pains.
Mouth rinse containing steroid dexamethasone can help reduce the pains and inflammation. Topical products can also be used.
This treatment should be prescribed by your doctor and if need be oral medication can still be administered to check for the underlying cause if other treatments failed.
POSSIBLE PREVENTION MEASURES:
Canker sores in some persons occur frequently, the following tips can help curtail these occurrences:
1) Take care of what goes into your mouth: Some foods may irritate your mouth when you take them.An example are spices, spices irritate the mouth of some people and this can lead to canker sores. So, what’s best is to avoid foods with spices.
2) Cut down stress: You can try to observe most times you had canker sores whether you were stressed out. Stress can cause canker sores on some people.
3) Avoid injury to your mouth: While brushing be careful not injure your gum or any part of your mouth. Also, use a soft brush to avoid injury.
4) Develop a good oral hygiene: Take more care of your mouth by brushing regularly; this can be done by brushing in the morning and in the night before going to bed and also brushing you’re immediately after meals.