What Are Canker Sores
Canker sores are a type of mouth ulcer. They are painful sores that appear on the inside of the mouthnamely, the inner lip, cheeks, gums, tongue, or palate. They can have a white or yellowish appearance with a red outer layer. Unlike cold sores, mouth ulcers are non-contagious and will generally heal without scarring in about a week or two. If you experience severe canker sores that do not get better, you can always consult with a medical doctor or dentist. These are some of the early signs and symptoms of canker sores:
- A tingling or burning sensation inside your mouth
- White or grey sores forming inside the mouth
- Feeling feverish
- Feeling physically unwell or sluggish
- Swollen lymph nodes
How Mouth Cancer Can Spread
The skin of the mouth, nose and throat are lined with flat, firm cells called squamous cells. Most mouth cancers originate in these surface cells. Without treatment, squamous cell carcinoma can spread deeper, including muscle and bone, or to the throat or lymph glands in the neck. Mouth cancer can also spread to other parts of the body if it accesses the bloodstream or lymphatic system, so its important to diagnose and treat it early.
Vitamin B Complex Supplement
You may get canker sores more often if your diet is low in vitamin B-12. Its unclear exactly how vitamin B-12 heals canker sores, however.
According to a 2017 study, participants taking 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily had fewer canker sore outbreaks, fewer sores overall, and less pain than those taking a placebo.
Other B vitamins may also help. A vitamin B complex supplement contains all eight B vitamins, including B-12. Vitamin B complex supplements may cause side effects, so consult your doctor before use.
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What Is The Treatment For Mouth Ulcers
Most mouth ulcers get better on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. Until your ulcer heals:
- use a soft toothbrush to reduce further damage
- rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash
- avoid foods that make the pain worse, such as spicy or acidic food
- choose softer foods that are less likely to make the ulcer feel worse
- use a straw to drink cool liquids so they dont touch ulcers in the front of your mouth
- take paracetamol for pain relief.
Are Mouth Ulcers And Canker Sores A Symptom Of Oral Cancer
99.9% of mouth ulcers are benign, and are not a symptom of cancer.
However, if you do have oral cancer, mouth ulcers that do not go away are a symptom.
Cancerous mouth ulcers usually appear under the tongue.
They can also appear in other parts of the mouth but this is less common.
Even if you do have a resilient ulcer under your tongue, it is very unlikely to be related to cancer.
You should however have some cause for concern if you have such an ulcer in conjunction with risk factors for mouth cancer.
Ways To Get Rid Of Mouth Ulcers Fast
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for its medicinal properties for years. Today it is even used in beverages, skin lotions and ointments. But I am not talking about any of these consumer products.
Look for the plant itself. Its always a good idea to grow Aloe vera in the event of medical emergencies such as when you get canker sores. Alternatively, you could also grow it as a potted plant indoors.
Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory bacteria and has curative properties that help ease your pain and reduce the inflammation while speeding up your healing process.
Cut off a fresh piece from an Aloe vera leaf, and squeeze out the juice directly onto your mouth ulcers. You should do this several times each day.
Another way would be making sure you rinse your mouth with fresh juice from your Aloe vera plant three times each day.
You can also purchase some Aleovera gel from the market. Two tablespoons of this Aloe vera juice taken three times a day will be enough to speed you towards recovery.
Coriander is another plant that has healthful benefits for those who partake of it. What we call coriander is the dried seed of the Coriandumsativum plant. Coriander leaves are also useful as a medicine for many ailments.
Heres how you should prepare your coriander medicine:
Follow this regimen for a few days, and your mouth ulcers will be gone before you know it.
3. Clove Oil
Get the following ingredients:
4. Baking Soda
Here is what you should do:
Treatment For Mouth Cancer
Treatment depends on the size, type and location of the cancer and whether it has spread, but can include:
- Surgery– the tumour is surgically removed, if small. The lymph glands on the affected side may also be removed if the tumour extends into these.
- Radiation therapy – small, precise doses of ionising radiation target and destroy cancer cells. This type of treatment is often all thats needed for small, localised cancers.
- Chemotherapy– the use of cancer-killing drugs, often in combination with surgery and/or radiotherapy. Chemotherapy may sometimes be used to shrink a tumour before surgery.
- Multi-modal treatments – Surgery on larger tumours may be followed with radiation therapy. Chemo-radiotherapy may also be used.
- Long term monitoring this may include regular oral examinations and occasional X-rays to make sure the cancer hasnt come back.
- Ongoing care this may include speech therapy, dietary advice, regular medical follow-up and counselling.
All treatments have side effects. These will vary depending on the type of treatment you are having. Many side effects are temporary, but some may be permanent. Your doctor will explain all the possible side effects before your treatment begins.
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What Can You Do If These Things Don’t Help
If treating canker sores with local anesthetics, painkillers or antiseptic medications doesn’t help, you can apply steroid creams. If those aren’t effective or if the sores are very severe, it’s a good idea to see a doctor or dentist. They can cauterize the inflamed tissue for instance, using a silver nitrate solution or laser treatment.
Salt Water And Sodium Bicarbonate
Saline and sodium bicarbonate can help canker sores heal faster by reducing acid levels in your mouth. This creates an environment that makes it harder for bacteria to grow, which can help the healing process. Saltwater rinses can also promote healthy gums.
Salt Water Rinse
Never put salt directly on an ulcer. Instead, make a saltwater solution by mixing one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Swish it in your mouth or gargle it for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Though it may sting at first, the benefits are worth it.
Putting salt directly on a canker sore can make it worse. Instead, make a saltwater solution and gently rinse your mouth with it.
Baking Soda Paste
Mix baking soda with a small amount of water until it thickens. Put the paste on your canker sore. Repeat as often as needed while your mouth heals.
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Presenting Seven Home Remedies For Mouth Ulcers That Work Look No Further Than Your Kitchen
Home remedies for mouth ulcers: Honey retains moisture and prevents your mouth from becoming dry.2. Mulethi PowderMulethi has long been used in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. For mouth ulcers cause due to stomach ailments, mulethi works wonders, says Dr. Gautam. It is best consumed with water or with some honey. It helps in cleaning your stomach and removes toxins that could be responsible for the ulcers. If you haven’t used mulethi yet, make sure you do as it sure is a quick way to get rid of mouth ulcers.
Home remedies for mouth ulcers: Mulethi has long been used in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties.
3. Triphala Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal powder consisting of three Indian fruits Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala with 1 cup of water to make a decoction. Gargle with it once a day. Hold it in your mouth for 1 to 2 minutes and then spit it out, advices Ayurveda Expert, Dr. Meenakshi Sharma. Triphala has powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties that one cannot miss out on. In fact, triphala is said to heal most stomach related issues.
There are mutiple causes of ulcers like stress, insufficient sleep, stomach and intentine diseases, vitamin B and folic acid deficiency, and and trauma and food allergy. Although, the actual cause of these ulcers is still unknown, however, these reaons are associated with them.
Consider Safety Tips And Precautions
Since anyone is liable for these sores, it is important to take precautions and stay safe by action to avert any mishaps. For example, below are helpful self-care tips for recurring cases.
- Do not give hydrogen peroxide to children or toddlers
- If they persist or wont heal after 3 weeks
- If you cannot get over pain always seek medical advice
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and medicines if you have been diagnosed of HSV type 1 or 2
- Limit your sexual behavior like oral sex especially if you have more than one sexual partners
Our Sources and Citations
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Risk Factors For Autoimmune Disorders
The exact causes of autoimmune disorders are not known. The risk factors seem to include:
- genetics a predisposition to autoimmune disorders seems to run in families. However, family members can be affected by different disorders for example, one person may have diabetes, while another has rheumatoid arthritis. It seems that genetic susceptibility alone is not enough to trigger an autoimmune reaction, and other factors must contribute.
- environmental factors a family’s susceptibility to autoimmune disorders may be linked to common environmental factors, perhaps working in conjunction with genetic factors.
- gender around three quarters of people with autoimmune disorders are women.
- sex hormones autoimmune disorders tend to strike during the childbearing years. Some disorders seem to be affected, for better or worse, by major hormonal changes such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.
- infection some disorders seem to be triggered or worsened by particular infections.
What Causes Bleeding Ulcers
When the ulcer is caused due to an infection and the infection has progressed, it can also cause bleeding from the ulcer and the gums.
On an average, mouth ulcers take seven to 10 days to heal. By using the home remedies enlisted in this article, you can hasten the healing process and also get relief from pain. It is best to use a combination of home remedies as this will ensure the best results. Boost your immune system by consuming lots of fresh fruits and veggies. This will help your body fight the infection. If the ulcer is painless, you should consult a doctor as it could be a sign of oral cancer.
Hope this article helped you. Do let us know if we missed out on anything in the comments section below.
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What Causes Aphthous Mouth Ulcers
The cause is not known. They are not infectious and you cannot ‘catch’ aphthous mouth ulcers. In most cases, the ulcers develop for no apparent reason in people who are healthy.
In some cases the ulcers are related to other factors or diseases. These include:
- Injury – such as badly fitting dentures, a graze from a harsh toothbrush, etc.
- Changes in hormone levels. Some women find that mouth ulcers occur just before their period. In some women, the ulcers only develop after the menopause.
- Stopping smoking – some people find they develop ulcers only after stopping smoking.
- Some street drugs such as cocaine.
You should inform your doctor if you have any other symptoms in addition to the mouth ulcers. Other important symptoms would include skin or genital ulcers or joint pains and inflammation. Sometimes a blood test or other investigations are advised if other causes of mouth ulcers are suspected.
Check If It’s A Mouth Ulcer
Mouth ulcers are usually small, creamy-white and appear on the:
- inside of the mouth
These types of mouth ulcers are known as canker sores .
You may have more than one ulcer at a time and they can change in size.
Mouth ulcers are not contagious. But sometimes they are a symptom of a contagious illness.
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When Should I See My Doctor
See your GP if you think you might have an ulcer related to a mouth infection.
Also, see your GP if your child develops severe mouth ulcers with symptoms of general illness like:
- weight loss, stomach pain, unexplained fevers
- blood or mucus in their stool
- neck stiffness and tiredness
- ulcers around the anus
This may indicate conditions such as coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Its also important to see your doctor or dentist for a mouth ulcer that lasts longer than 3 weeks and keeps coming back.
Although most mouth ulcers are harmless, a long-lasting mouth ulcer is sometimes a sign of mouth cancer. It’s best to get it checked.
Types Of Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders can affect nearly every organ and system of the body. Some autoimmune disorders include:
- Diabetes affects the pancreas. Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and an increased susceptibility to infection.
- Graves’ disease affects the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, elevated heart rate, anxiety and diarrhoea.
- Inflammatory bowel disease includes ulcerative colitis and possibly, Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
- Multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system. Depending on which part of the nervous system is affected, symptoms can include numbness, paralysis and vision impairment.
- Psoriasis affects the skin. Features include the development of thick, reddened skin scales.
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints. Symptoms include swollen and deformed joints. The eyes, lungs and heart may also be targeted.
- Scleroderma affects the skin and other structures, causing the formation of scar tissue. Features include thickening of the skin, skin ulcers and stiff joints.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus affects connective tissue and can strike any organ system of the body. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, weight loss and a characteristic facial rash.
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How To Treat Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers dont usually need to be treated, because they tend to clear up by themselves within a week or two.
However, treatment can help to reduce swelling and ease any discomfort. This may help if you keep getting mouth ulcers or your mouth ulcer affects eating and drinking.
Things you can do to speed up healing include:
- applying a protective paste recommended by your pharmacist
- using a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth
- using a toothpaste that doesnt contain sodium lauryl sulphate, as this may be irritating
- avoiding hard, spicy, salty, acidic or hot food and drink until the ulcer heals
- using a straw to drink cool drinks
- avoiding things that may be triggering your mouth ulcers see causes, below
You can get several types of mouth ulcer treatment from a pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist about the best treatment for you. Options include the following:
Medicines from your dentist or GP
If necessary, you may be prescribed a course of stronger corticosteroids to help reduce pain and swelling, and speed up healing.
Corticosteroids are available on prescription as tablets, mouthwash, paste or spray, but are not suitable for children under 12.
Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular anecdotal remedy for mouth ulcers. However, it should be used with caution as its acidic nature can cause a stinging sensation. Moreover, its use is not supported by any clinical research.
How to use:
Dilute ½ cup of ACV with 1 cup of water, and dip a clean cotton bud in it. Dab the solution on the affected area. Avoid overuse, as ACV can be harmful to tooth enamel.
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Garlic For Mouth Ulcers
1 garlic clove
What You Have To Do
How Often You Should Do This
Repeat this twice or thrice a day.
Why This Works
Like turmeric, garlic is also extensively used to treat infections because of its strong antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microorganisms. The allicin found in garlic is said to be the main component that is responsible for this property .
How To Avoid Transmitting Hsv
If you have a cold sore, be sure to wash your hands after touching it and be especially careful to avoid touching your own eyes after touching your cold sore. It is the fluid contained in the blisters that is considered to be the most infectious. While you have a cold sore it is also important to avoid:
- sharing toothbrushes
- sharing drinking glasses or bottles
- sharing cutlery
- sharing towels or other personal items
- close contact with newborn and young babies
- kissing others
- close contact with children with burns or eczema
- close contact with people with suppressed immune systems.
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Here Is A List Of Home Remedies For Mouth Ulcers
Thanks to the antibacterial qualities of honey, it can act as a very effective remedy for ulcers. It provides moisture and prevents it from becoming dry. All you need to do is take some raw honey and apply it on the ulcers. You can also add some turmeric to it to speed up the healing process. Apply it every few hours for relief.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil helps in reducing the discomfort caused due to the ulcer by reducing the swelling. Anti-inflammatory compounds in coconut oil help in doing so. All you need to do is dab a cotton ball in some virgin coconut oil and apply it on your ulcers. Repeat this after every few hours. You can also apply coconut oil to ulcers and sleep with it.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Though the pungent taste and the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar can hurt you, this one is a powerful home remedy for ulcers. Just mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of water and swish the solution in your mouth for a few minutes. Do this every morning and night till the ulcer heals.
4. Salt water
6. Fortified orange juice