Painful and intrusive, the canker sore is a annoyance that no person ever wants. Between the ages of 10 and 20, you have a high probability you’ll get a few canker sores a year that will last up to a week at a time. For adults, complex canker sores are always a possibility, though more rare. So what are canker sores, why do we get them, how do we find ourselves some relief?
Also known as apthous ulcers, cankers sores will appear on the inside of the mouth either on the tongue, soft palate, or inside your cheeks. Canker sores look like a shallow white and red bump which, after a day or two, can break and leave a white wound, similar to a blister. Though it can be an irritating situation, generally, a person with a canker sore will not receive any other symptoms.
How Do Canker Sores Happen?
There are several reasons scientists believe we get canker sores. Vitamin and nutritional deficiency is believed to be linked to canker sores. Reason being most trouble with the outermost layers of the skin in the human body is caused by vitamin deficiency. It is recommended that anyone who gets canker sores often should try to take more vitamins, especially B-12 which can help reduce soreness.
Stress and injury can also cause painful canker sores. If you may have eaten something that could burn or scrape against the lining of your mouth, or perhaps had an intense visit to the dentist, a canker sore can appear after the fact. Brushing too hard or using harsh mouthwashes can also cause stress in the mouth, which can lead to canker sores.
Though it’s good to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, sometimes a citric, highly acidic, fruit like a lemon or grapefruit can cause irritation that leads to a canker sore. Though fruits are not the actual cause of a sore, they can easily irritate and worsen an area, which can then cause the stress that leads to canker sores.
Last, a poor immune system can drastically affect the amount of time you have a canker sore. With a weak immune system, your body cannot repair the area of canker sore quickly. The more time the canker sore is an open wound, the more chance of irritating and elongating the sore.
Is There Any Relief?
Canker sores generally will last about a week with two of the days the most irritable then lessen for a few more days. Most canker sores will be gone within a week.
If a canker sore does not diminish and continues to irritate you, a dentist can prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse or ointment that can help reduce the pain. It’s also recommended to avoid acidic foods, consume more B-12 vitamins, and brush your teeth gently to keep pain to a minimum.
A natural remedy that often offers pain relief from sores is to apply a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water to the canker sore with a Q-tip. Then, use a small amount of milk of magnesia and cover the sore. This will soothe the painful area and help speed the healing process.
For the most part, canker sores are an inconvenient waiting game, and there is little to do about them. Much like a 24-hour flu, the best medicine is time.
If you have any more questions about canker sores, do not hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental. We are more than happy to assist our patients with any of their questions.