Friday, March 11, 2016

Mouth Ulcers Remedies : Treatment of Canker Sores

Mouth sores or ulcers, also known as oral ulcers, or mucosal ulcers are very common, which occur on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. They are usually small, painful lesions that develop inside the mouth, lips and cheeks, under the tongue, gums and the tonsil area.

There may be a single or multiple ulcers in mouth. The mouth ulcers produce pain, irritation and discomfort that last for a week or two. The mouth sores can make drinking, eating and talking uncomfortable.
Mouth Ulcers and Sores
Mouth Ulcers
The most common causes of mouth ulceration are local trauma and aphthous stomatitis (canker sores, aphthous ulcers). Canker sores, characterized by recurrent formation of oral ulcer are the most commonly occurring type of mouth ulcer, the actual cause in not known.


Are Cold Sores and Mouth Sores the Same?

Don't confuse with cold sores (oral herpes). Canker sores are on the inside of the mouth, the oral herpes are usually on the corners of the mouth, lips and nose, while the mouth ulcers including canker sores are inside of the mouth. The mouth ulcers are not contagious but cold sores are highly contagious.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers, Cancer Sores

  1. No definite cause for these ulcers are known. However, following factors may contribute:
  2. Heredity
  3. Anxiety, stress and
  4. Oral trauma
  5. The thin membrane lining of the mouth can be easily damaged by mechanical, thermal, chemical or electrical means or by irradiation. Examples of causes that can damage the lining of the mouth are:
    1. Rubbing tongue on rough and sharp edges of teeth or braces.
    2. Eating rough foods
    3. Hard and worn out toothbrush, hard brushing
    4. Habit of biting the cheek or lips
    5. Rubbing a fingernail
    6. Putting sharp things like pencil or toothpick inside the mouth.
    7. Accidental injury on the soft tissues of the mouth during dental work.
    8. Irritation from a sharp object, such braces or dentures
    9. Sports injury
    10. Who eat or drink very hot foods and drinks can develop mouth sores.
    11. In young children, who usually chew on live electrical wiring, the electrical burns in the mouth can cause ulcers.
    12. Eating pointed and irregular shape beetle nuts can damage the soft tissues in mouth.
    13. Keeping medicines in mouth (mostly children) before swallowing can be the reason.
    14. Some anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, and beta-blockers such as atenolol can cause canker sores.
  6. Hormonal changes during menstrual cycle.
  7. Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods like chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts, etc. may develop canker sores.
  8. Some preservatives used in foods can cause these sores.
  9. Toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate may cause canker sores.
  10. Chewing tobacco.
  11. Deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid are associated with canker sores.
  12. AIDS virus has been associated with canker sores.
The mouth ulcers can be due to more serious causes and require medical treatment.

Most mouth ulcers do not need any diagnosis by a Doctor as you will know if you have a mouth sore.

How to Treat Mouth Ulcers?

Most mouth ulcers don’t need treatment and they will be cured naturally in 1-2 weeks. However, following  are some home treatments to decrease pain and healing time.
  1. Rinse mouth with salt water and baking soda. Mix some salt or baking soda into a cup of warm water, and take a mouthful, hold it for some time on the side of ulcers and spit it out. You can also apply a thin paste of baking soda or salt and water.
  2. Drink cold water to ease the pain.
  3. Try not to touch the sore area.
  4. Change your toothbrush.
  5. Eat fruit and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, vitamin B, folic acid, zinc and iron.
  6. Avoid acidic fruits and spicy foods.
  7. Avoid hard foods that could rub against your mouth sore.
  8. Eat soft food so that it does not hurt the ulcer when it touches it.
  9. Honey: Apply some honey onto the mouth ulcer with a q-tip or your index finger.
  10. Coconut: Drinking coconut water or applying a little coconut oil directly on the ulcer can heal them faster.
  11. Cloves: Chew a clove slowly and move the juice ton to the ulcer.
  12. Poppy Seeds: Eat some crushed poppy seeds (khus-khus) to get quick instant relief from ulcers.
  13. Liquorice: Liquorice (Mulethi) has anti-inflammatory properties which can heal painful mouth ulcers. Make a paste of liquorice by rubbing it on a grinding stone stone and apply on the ulcers.
  14. Gargle with mouth wash helps.
  15. Avoid chocolate, almonds,  peanuts, coffee, strawberries and salty foods, which may make mouth sores worse.

When to see a doctor?

You should see your doctor if you have white patches on the sores or have sores that do not go away after a couple of weeks.

References


Mirowski GW, Mark LA, Oral disease and oral-cutaneous manifestations of gastrointestinal and liver disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds.Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders;, 2010, chap 22.
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