Canker sores are the ulcers of mouth. They can be very painful and quite inconvenient, if not treated properly and timely. The exact medical cause of canker sores is unknown, but there are certain factors that trigger the formation of such ulcers in many people.
An injury inside the mouth is a very common source of canker sores. Nearly everyone has bitten the inside of his or her mouth while eating or drinking, at some point in his or her life. If the bite is severe enough, a blister or a sore can develop, and in worst cases, it can become infected. Other sources of injury inside the mouth include dentures or dental fittings that don’t fit properly, a habit of chewing on the inside of the cheek or even brushing in a brisk manner. With these actions, the mucus lining is broken, thus making the tissue more susceptible to infection.
Another common cause of canker sores is a severe nutritional lack of folic acid, iron, and vitamin B. Therefore, individuals who get canker sores without necessarily injuring their mouth, should take these nutritional supplements, to remedy the situation in a timely manner. For some people, food allergies may lead to canker sores. If this is the case, it is a good idea to get tested for allergies or to keep a journal of food that you eat during a week, so that, you can link certain foods to the onset of canker sores. Finally, stress is another widely acknowledged source of canker sores.
There is no medication specifically designed to cure canker sores. There are, however, measures that can be taken, to alleviate the pain and discomfort they cause. Corticosteroids help reduce the inflammation and swelling that accompany canker sores, while antibacterial mouthwashes make sure that the number of bacteria attacking the site of the sore is greatly reduced. Pain relief gels can also be applied at the site of the sore; make sure these gels do not contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous if ingested. Aphthasol is a medicine, that has been shown in studies to reduce pain and recovery time. If the pain is unbearable, a compound called ORA5 can be applied at the site of the sore.
Remember that canker sores take, on average, about two weeks to heal completely. If your sore continues to bother you after two weeks, consult a dentist.