Canker sores: what are they, causes, symptoms and treatments

Many people are concerned when they observe the appearance of canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, aphthous stomatitis or canker sore. Knowing more about these small sores can help you follow the recommended treatments to relieve symptoms. For this reason, we will talk in the following lines about this condition and how to prevent it.

What are canker sores?

They are superficial lesions that appear in the soft tissues of the mouth, such as the gums or behind the throat. They are often confused with cold sores, but they are not the same, aphthous ulcers are not contagious. In fact, they usually come out because of a simple viral infection, an allergy or as a consequence of a disease.

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It is a condition that does not present severe risks, but Recurring appearances must be taken into account. Above all, take special care in the shape and size, since they could be related to other diseases.

Canker sores are identified because they are white or yellowish sores. They can also be as large as 5 millimeters. It is a disease that does not cause risk, but it is important that it does not go unnoticed.

What are the causes of canker sores?

The causes of aphthous ulcers are uncertain, but there are some factors that could produce them, such as:

  • Excessive brushing of the teeth.
  • Some recent dental work injuries.
  • Allergies to certain bacteria found in the mouth.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Some emotional disorders.
  • Smoke tobacco.
  • Excessive rubbing of teeth or orthodontic appliances. Also, self-harm, such as bites.
  • Toothpastes or mouthwashes that are high in sodium sulfate, such as lauryl.
  • Because of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes peptic ulcers.
  • Sensitivity to some foods such as (chocolate, strawberry, coffee, eggs, spicy or acidic foods).

Consequence of diseases

They are likely to appear as a result of some diseases or disorders, such as:

  • Vitamin deficiency.
  • Food allergy.
  • Systemic diseases.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Celiac Disease
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS)

What are the symptoms of aphthous ulcers?

  • Tingling or burning sensation, one or two days before the appearance of the sores.
  • Frequent presence of lesions with a red base and covered with a yellowish layer.
  • Pain in the affected area.
  • As the appearance progresses, it may turn gray.
  • Generally, they are not accompanied by a fever.

What is the treatment for canker sores?

Treatment will depend on the causes. They usually heal in one to two weeks. In that sense, it will be necessary to establish whether they come from any disease. The specialists will verify if it is due to environmental factors. However, the most frequent actions to take are:

  • Washes with antimicrobial rinse.
  • Ointments with antibiotics and hydrocortisone.
  • Sedatives and pain relievers.
  • Vitamins
  • Carbenoxolone.
  • Dexamethasone.
  • Triamcinolone.
  • Antibiotics (tetracycline, minocycline).
  • Corticosteroids.

Also, it is recommended not to wash with mouthwashes with a high alcohol content, as these wounds could worsen or cause excessive pain.

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