Canker Sore (Apthous Stomatitis)
It is a condition characterized by the appearance of discrete spherical vesicle which rupture after one or two days and form depressed spherical ulcers.
They may occur on your tongue, on your soft palate, inside your cheeks or lips, and at the base of your gums.
Canker sores differ from cold sores in that they occur in the soft tissues of your mouth and aren't contagious.
Canker sores can occur at any age, but often first appear when you are between 10 and 40 years of age.
Many factors have been suggested either as a cause of apthous stomatitis or as predisposing to herpetic infections. They include hormonal disturbances, allergic phenomenon, gastro-intestinal disorders and psychosomatic disorders.
Stress or tissue injury
may cause the eruption of canker sores. A minor injury,such as biting the inside of your mouth, may trigger a canker sore.
Other causes may include:
Though anyone can get cankers sores, they tend to run in families and may be an inheritable condition.
Signs and symptoms
- Painful sore or sores inside your mouth - on your tongue, on your soft palate, inside your cheeks or lips, and at the base of your gums
- Tingling or burning sensation prior to appearance of the sores
- Round, whitish appearance to sores, with a red edge or halo.
Often treatment isn't necessary and your canker sore will heal on its own. Your doctor may suggest prescription medication if your sores are large, painful or persistent. To relieve the pain and irritation of canker sores, your doctor may recommend a prescription mouthwash, a corticosteroid salve or an anesthetic solution.
- Avoid foods that seem to irritate your mouth. These may include acidic foods, nuts and certain spices.
- Regular brushing after meals and flossing once a day can keep your mouth clean and free of foods that might trigger a sore.
- Using a soft brush may help you avoid irritation of mouth tissues.
The following practices may provide temporary relief of canker sores:
- Avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods, which may increase the pain.
- Apply ice to your canker sores or allow ice chips to slowly dissolve over the sores to ease the pain.
- >Brush your teeth carefully using a very soft brush to avoid irritating the sore.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water or over-the-counter preparations. Try diluted hydrogen peroxide or elixir of diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Banophen). Be sure to spit the Benadryl out so that the medication doesn't make you sleepy.
- Dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on your canker sore a few times a day. This can ease the pain and may help the canker sore to heal.
- Use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). But don't give aspirin to children. Aspirin may trigger a rare but potentially fatal disorder known as Reye's syndrome.