How to Get Rid Of Canker Sore On The Tongue? Canker sores are generally referred to as shallow ulcers in the mouth, making it difficult to eat or drink.
Also known as aphthous ulcers, they occur in the soft tissues of your mouth and gums.
You can feel a burning or tingling sensation 1-2 days prior to the sore breakout. These are painful and takes 7-10 days to go away.
What Are The Various Types Of Canker Sores?
These sores are generally oval in shape with a yellow or white center and redness around the border. They generally occur inside the mouth, say below the cheek or inner part of lips or cheeks. There are three major types of canker sores:
Minor sores: These are the most common type of canker sores, which measure between 3 to 10 millimeters. They last from 10-14 days and do not leave any scars.
Major Sores: These sores are deeper than the minor sores and are with a diameter greater than 10mm. They take weeks to a month to heal and can leave scars after healing as well. These can be extremely painful and can leave extensive scarring.
Herpetiform Sores: It is a large group of multiple sores that are small in size (2-3mm). These are healed in 10-15 days without any scarring and are not much painful.
But there could be 100 ulcers present at the same time. There are chances to merge into a large ulcer, otherwise, they are of a pinpoint size.
What Are The Causes Of Canker Sores?
There are multiple factors that are responsible for the sores to appear. Some of the expected causes of canker sores are as follows:
- Any injury to the mouth can lead to a canker sore. It could be due to dental work, extreme toothbrushing, sports accidents, or fixing dentures or braces.
- Food allergies or sensitivity can also cause canker sores
- Highly acidic foods like citrus fruits also trigger the canker sores
- Allergy due to certain bacteria in the mouth
- Emotional stress
- Diets low in Vitamin B12, iron, folate (folic acid)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Systematic conditions related to nutritional deficiencies or Crohn’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases such as Celiac disease
- Weakness in the immune system leading to cold, flu, or HIV/AIDS
- Gastrointestinal tract diseases
- Drugs like oral nicotine, aspirin, chemotherapy medicines, sulfa drugs, beta-blockers, Phenytoin, etc
Are Cold Sores And Canker Sores The Same?
No! Canker sores are inside the mouth while sores are outside the mouth, around lips, cheeks, and chin. Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus infection and cause fever. Canker sores are not contagious, but cold sores are.
Canker Sore Symptoms
Canker sores are painful inside the mouth and occur on the tongue, gums, inside the cheeks or lips. Some of the common symptoms of canker sores are:
- Difficulty in swallowing, eating, and even speaking
- A pricking sensation, burning, or tingling feeling just 24 hours before the outbreak of canker sores.
- The outbreak of ulcer in white or yellow color with redness around it
- Pain in crater-like ulcer
- Sluggishness, fever, and swollen lymph nodes are some of the rare symptoms of canker sores.
- Weight loss and thrush infection in the mouth are some of the serious underlying medical conditions.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Canker sores do not require any special medication or treatment and can be healed automatically. However, there are certain serious underlying medical conditions along with canker cores where you should consult the doctor as follows:
- Suffering from fever along with canker sores
- Lasting longer than the usual time (more than 3-4 weeks)
- Started from one point and spreading to the whole mouth
- It is causing tremendous difficulty in drinking and eating
- It causes severe pain in spite of taking over-the-counter medicines
- The size of canker sores are larger than usual
What Are The Home Remedies to Treat Cure Canker Sores?
Unless not any serious underlying condition, canker sores do not require any treatment. However, the tremendous pain and discomfort associated with canker sore can be healed with certain home remedies.
Below are some of the effective home remedies which help in relieving the inflammation or irritation as well as speeding up the healing process:
- Avoid intake of highly acidic foods like citric fruits and spicy food, which aggravate the sores.
- Apply for topical medicines on the sore.
- Intake oral medication to relieve the pain and discomfort.
- You can keep ice chips in the mouth to dissolve them slowly to avoid inflammation.
- Take vitamin supplements, if the sores are due to nutritional deficiencies.
- To speed up the healing process, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, and lysine are to be taken orally.
- Warm water gargles with deglycyrrhizinated licorice and goldenseal mouth rinse.
- Dab the milk of magnesia using a cotton swab on the cancer sores.
- Rinse your mouth with saltwater. You can also use ½ teas spoon of baking soda instead of salt in ½ cup of water.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth gently.
- Use mouthwash and toothpaste free from sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Juices of cantaloupe, carrot, and celery are also beneficial
- Use mouthwash prepared by infusing the champagne herbs and sage in water 4-6 times a day
If these home remedies are not bringing any relief, it is advised to consult the doctor.
What are some of the prescribed topical prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to cure canker sores?
To get rid of pain, inflammation, and speeding up the healing process, there are certain topical ointments that also prevent the infection.
Topical Pain medication: These are used to relieve the pain and discomfort related to canker sores. These are applied to the canker sores to protect and heal them. Some of the over the counter ointments are as follows:
Topical anti-inflammatory medications: Such medications require a recommendation from your doctor. These steroid medications are typically used to decrease inflammation and are as follows:
- triamcinolone acetonide
Topical antibiotics: If the canker sores are infected with bacteria, these topical antibiotics are recommended by the doctors. If you are experiencing pus discharge, extreme redness, fever, or crusting, consult your doctor immediately.
Mouthwash Solutions: Diphenhydramine suspension is a topical anesthetic mouth rinse that helps in relieving the pain and discomfort of canker sores. Tetracycline antibiotic is helpful in speeding up the healing process but strictly meant for adults.
Oral Medications: Some of the oral medications which are helpful in alleviating the pain and discomfort of canker sores are:
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- naproxen (Aleve)
- ibuprofen (Advil)
- Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Zinc lozenges
A Word Of Caution For Cancer Sores in Case of Frequent Reoccurrence
If you are suffering from recurrent canker sores, there might be a serious underlying medical condition or illness. Consult a qualified medical practitioner to understand the reason for frequent canker sores. He may prescribe some tests to analyze the root cause to prevent its frequent reoccurrence.
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