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What is a Canker Sore?

A canker sore is usually a reddish (sometimes with white coating) and shallow sore in the mouth that causes you pain. Canker sores mainly occur on the inside of the lips, the insides of the cheeks, the base of the gums or under one’s tongue. These sores should not be confused with fever blisters, which mostly occur on the outside of one’s lips or the corners of one’s mouth. Although women and people in there twenties are more affected by these sores, there is no guarantee that others won’t ever have them. It may be hereditary in some families, but it is not contagious. Canker sores are sometimes classified into two categories: simple and complex. The simple one may appear three or four times a year and last about a week. Complex canker sores are relatively rare and are found mostly in those people who have had them earlier.

Symptoms of Canker Sores
Canker sores have a number of symptoms. Before the sores make their appearance, a person might experience a burning or tingling sensation on that spots. The main symptom of canker sores is the appearance of one or more sores inside your mouth. These sores may occur on the tongue, soft palate, or inside your cheeks. The sores are mainly round, white, or gray in color, having a red edge or border. Depending on the severity of these sores, a person may have fever, swollen lymph nodes or physical fatigue.

Causes of Canker Sores

Scientists are yet to identify the exact cause of most canker sores. However, stress or tissue injury is considered to be one of the main causes of simple canker sores. Certain types of foods, such as oranges, lemons, apples, pineapples, figs, tomatoes, and strawberries, which are citrus or acidic in character, may cause canker sores or worsen an already existing problem. At times, a sharp or jagged tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, may be responsible for canker sores. Complex canker sores are sometimes caused by an underlying health condition. Those who are likely to have such sores mostly have an impaired immune system; nutritional problems, such as vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency. People with gastrointestinal tract disorders may also have complex canker sores.

Treatment of Canker Sores
Natural and Ayurvedic: More often than not, canker sores disappear without needing any kind of treatment. However, to get relief from its pain, painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used. There are also other types of medications available over-the-counter (OTC) that helps your canker sores from becoming irritated while eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. You need to apply these medicines directly on the sore. Sucking on zinc lozenges, having Vitamin B Complex or Vitamin C, or using a sage-and-chamomile mouthwash may bring you some relief from the pain.

Home Remedies
However, it is wise to visit your doctor if the sore is large and painful making eating and drinking difficult for you and if it refuses to go away within a reasonable time. If you also have a fever or feel sick when you have canker sores, consult a doctor. The doctor will prescribe the necessary medications after examining the problem.

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