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Canker Sores: Types and Their Treatment

 A canker sore, also known as an aphthous sore, is an open sore in the mouth that can cause pain and discomfort when eating or speaking. There is a common myth that canker sores and cold sores are one and the same thing. They are not. Cold sores are also known as fever blisters and they caused by a virus, which can be very contagious, yet they are only found on the outer mouth.

Here are a few variations of canker sores and a little information about each. 

  • Minor Canker Sores – These might typically emerge 3-4 times per year and generally affect people in the 10 to 20-year-old range. This type of sore heals within a week and leaves no scarring. A visit to one of the Crows Nest dentists or a dentist near you would be in order. The dentist can confirm the type of sore and prescribe ointment, while also helping you to understand the potential causes. 

  • Major Canker Sores – These are larger and also take about 2 weeks to clear up. There might be scarring. The best solution is to consult your local dentist, as they can quickly identify the type of sore and treat it accordingly. It is very important not to touch the affected area and it will eventually disappear. 

  • Herpetiform Sores – Very rare, this type of sore consists of a few small ulcers and usually heals in 7-10 days, with no scarring.

Potential Causes 

While we are not 100% sure what causes canker sores, the following are thought to be related.  Stress – Anxiety and stress can really mess with the body (it can also kill you) and the charged emotion might manifest as canker sores 

 Tissue damage – From an accidental injury 

 Foods that are high in citric acid – Pineapples, lemons and limes seem to be a factor, although we’re not recommending you avoid these delicious fruits. 

 Some anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen 

 Food allergy – This could lower your immune system or it could be a direct cause, we are not certain.

Other factors that might have a bearing include a weak immune system, a deficiency of Vitamin B12, zinc or folic acid.

Genetic Disposition 

Medical data tells us that there is a genetic element with canker sores, as it can run in the family. Approximately 1 in 5 people suffer from canker sores and the condition is more prevalent in women, likely due to hormone imbalance. 

Signs of Canker Sores 

Most people report feeling a tingly sensation on the area just prior to the sore appearing. Often, the outset can occur when drying the face with a towel. It is important that you have the condition diagnosed and the best person to do that is your local dentist. 

Possible Side Effects

A heavy bout of canker sores could bring on a fever or cause fatigue and the person might experience swollen lymph nodes. A severe case should be referred to a doctor or the emergency medical unit near your home. Canker sores are not considered to be a serious life-threatening issue and should you experience these annoying sores, visit your local dentist just to be on the safe side.

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