Mouth ulcers better known as canker sores can be really painful.
Although very uncomfortable, disturbing eating or even speaking, they are nonetheless benign and do not portend any particular health problem.
Let’s see how to treat canker sores, how to avoid them with simple precautionary measures, and the best natural remedies to relieve them.
What is a canker sore?
Canker sores are mouth ulcers that can be very painful.
It is usually pink, gray or yellow, crater-shaped surrounded by red and always lodged in the most sensitive places of the mucosa.
They are commonly found on or under the tongue, in the cheeks, on the gums, inside the lips.
You can have multiple canker sores at once and over time they can change in size.
Unlike the cold sore, the canker sore is not contagious and heals spontaneously within one to two weeks without treatment.
The different types of canker sores
There are three different kinds of canker sores:
- minor canker sore: it is the most common and measures 3 to 10mm. It disappears in 10 to 14 days without leaving a scar.
- the major canker sore: wider and deeper than the minor canker sore, it has an irregular border. It can measure over 10mm and takes weeks to disappear leaving a scar.
- herpetic canker sore: these are canker sores of small diameter, 2 to 3mm, which are grouped together. One affected area can contain a hundred ulcers. They disappear without leaving a scar.
Causes of canker sores
The most common causes of canker sores are:
- oral trauma
- hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle
- certain foods like oilseeds, chocolate, coffee
- iron deficiency
- vitamin B12 deficiency
- zinc deficiency
- quitting smoking
- a weakened immune system
- drugs like beta-blockers, anti-inflammatories
- chronic disease
- genetic predisposition
The evolution of a canker sore
Most aphthous ulcers heal spontaneously within 10 to 14 days.
However, you need to take care not to make the inflammation worse by consuming too spicy foods, overusing vinegar in your salad, or drinking too acidic drinks.
Treatment of canker sores
The pain is so severe that it is impossible to expect spontaneous recovery in two weeks.
Here are the medical treatments you can apply as soon as an ulcer appears:
– corticosteroid lozenges
These lozenges often indicated for sore throats are quite effective in relieving the pain of a canker sore and can also speed up its healing.
It is recommended to use them at the first symptoms.
– mouthwash with chlorhexidine
Although the effect on the pain is not very intense, the mouthwash helps in faster healing and limits infection.
Again, it is recommended to practice a mouthwash as soon as the ulcer appears.
Note that the regular use of chlorhexidine over 4 weeks may temporarily darken teeth.
Intervening at the first sign of a canker sore reduces inflammation while compromising its development.
– antiseptic gel
Primarily for the treatment of pain, the antiseptic gel has a slight comforting numbing effect.
– paracetamol or ibuprofen
To alleviate too much pain, you can take an analgesic such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Prevention of canker sores
We do not know it and yet we ourselves cause canker sores by certain actions.
For example, biting your cheek.
See your dentist if you wear ill-fitting braces or have a chipped, sharp tooth.
Brushing your teeth should be gentle and not overdoing it. The toothbrush should preferably be soft or medium.
Toothpaste should not be irritating and should not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
All of these measures must be taken to avoid injuring the oral mucosa.
On the other hand, stress is also your enemy.
Try to get enough sleep and put your worries into perspective so that you are not on edge.
Finally, some medicines can cause canker sores. Read the package leaflets and do not hesitate to talk to your physician.
Supplements to fight canker sores
- Folic acid or vitamin b9
Too frequent canker sores can be caused by a folic acid deficiency.
Zinc boosts the immune system and significantly reduces the recurrence of canker sores.
- Vitamin B12
A vitamin B12 deficiency can be the cause of the frequent appearance of canker sores.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to both canker sores and bleeding gums.
Consider a cure to restore the efficiency of your immune system.
Favor liposomal vitamin C for better absorption.
Natural remedies for canker sores
There are natural ways to relieve these nasty ulcers.
salt water mouthwash
Add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water to make a salty mouthwash.
Use it 4 times a day for 4 or 5 days.
Salt water has antiseptic properties that will help in faster healing.
The sulfur in onion can help heal canker sores.
You can apply a coverslip directly to the lesion or simply incorporate it into a salad to enjoy the benefits of the onion.
The orange juice here is only a source of vitamin C. Drink plenty of it to boost your immune system.
Chewing a fresh basil leaf twice a day helps relieve the pain of a canker sore and accelerate its healing.
Coconut milk relieves the severe pain of canker sores. Gargle 3 or 4 times a day.
This natural remedy is very effective especially when you are having difficulty eating.
peppermint essential oil
Directly apply a drop of peppermint essential oil to the lesion for pain relief.
The use of the ice cube is only for a quick numbing effect.
Applying it directly to the lesion will not help healing but will provide immediate relief.
Licorice root has interesting anti-inflammatory properties to relieve severe canker sores.
You can chew a licorice stick or better yet use a mother tincture to apply it directly and reap its benefits.
Aloe vera helps relieve the pain of canker sores and speeds up healing. Directly apply a little pure aloe gel or drink aloe vera juice.
clove essential oil
Certainly the essential oil most indicated for aphthous ulcers, clove brings its antiseptic and inflammatory properties to the lesion up to anesthesia. The ultimate remedy for canker sores.
When to consult for a canker sore?
There are a few cases which should alert you and prompt you to consult a specialist:
– if your canker sore is still there after 3 weeks
– if it comes back too frequently
– if it becomes more and more painful and red, signs of an infection
– if you have a fever
– if you are losing weight
These signs may indicate a more serious problem requiring medical attention.
Canker sores are very painful and uncomfortable lesions.
However, there are effective ways to control inflammation through mouthwashes and antiseptic gels.
There are also natural ways to treat these ulcers quickly and effectively.
How about you? How do you treat canker sores?
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