Canker Sores – Types, Causes and Treatment

Canker sores are the white color round sores that appear on cheeks, lips, gums and under tongue. These are non contagious which means they do not spread by sharing things of candidate with canker sores.

Types of canker sores:

  • Major canker sores: These are less commonly seen. These have irregular edges and are large and deeper than minor cankers. It takes weeks or month to heal completely.
  • Minor canker sores: These are small and oval shaped sores on lips, gums or under tongue. It takes one week to heal with out leaving any scar.
  • Herpetiform canker sores: Herpetiform canker sores are very small and have irregular edges. They appear in bunches on mucous membrane. It can heal within 1-2 weeks without leaving any scar.

Causes of canker sores:

  • Due to deficiency of folic acid, iron, vitamin cyanocobalamine
  • Destruction of mucous membrane
  • Brushing too hard
  • Improper wearing of dentures
  • Indications of immune system problems
  • Emotional Stress
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Tooth paste containing sodium lauryl sulphates

Symptoms of canker sores:

  • White color sores surrounded by reddish edges on lips, gums
  • Difficulty in eating, drinking
  • In some cases, swollen lymph nodes and fever

Diagnosis of canker sores:

  • Diagnosis of canker sores can be done by physical observation of sores.
  • Blood tests to check whether it is caused by herpes virus or not.
  • Biopsy of canker sore

Treatment for canker sores:

  • Topical medications like gels applied on the sores
  • Pain relief tablets used to treat canker sores
  • Rinsing with mouth washes containing dexamethasone reduces inflammation and pain.
  • If it is due to deficiency of vitamins, supplements should be taken
  • Use soft bristle tooth brush
  • Do not use tooth paste containing sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Gargle mouth with water
  • Avoid eating acidic, spicy foods to prevent irritation

Canker sores are different from cold sores
Most people think that canker sores and cold sores are similar but these two are different from each other.

  • Canker sores are white color sore with reddish edges. These appear on inside of mouth. It is non contagious. It is not caused by herpes simplex virus.
  • Cold Sores are also called fever blisters. These appear on outside of mouth. These are small reddish and painful sores around the edges of the mouth. These are caused by Herpes simplex virus. These are contagious.

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