Canker sores [Aphthous Stomatitis] affect the inner lining of the mouth [and tongue in some cases] and can be very painful especially while eating and talking, they can occur at any time and at any age, are not contagious and are the most common of any mouth disorder. These sores can re-occur at any time once the first infection has healed [the body does not find an effective antibody to use against them]
The sore appearance is typically an oval or round whitish ulcer, never bigger than a centimeter or so and has a reddish slightly raised ridge around it. At any given time it is believed that at least twenty percent of the population have this affliction. These ulcers tend to infect mainly teenagers and women but they can infect almost everyone irrespective of age and sex. It is also believed that people with a history of these ulcers may pass it on to their offspring [hereditary] who will then be more susceptible to this mouth infection but not necessarily get it.
Though not a serious health condition, some form of treatment will be needed to assist with easing the pain and discomfort. Canker sores are not caused by any virus or bacterial infection but from small injuries or trauma’s that occur in our mouths [biting the side of the cheek etc], stress or anxiety, acidic foods, nutritional deficiencies and underlying health problems are also said to cause this problem. Do not confuse these with cold sores [appear on the outside of the mouth], these are infectious and caused by the herpes virus and a patient with these will need some medication dispensed by their doctor.
Home remedies to assist with the healing and to lessen pain
* aloe juice – has wonderful healing and soothing powers [tastes awful], rinse your mouth at least 3 times a day with this juice
* alum – relieves pain and assists with healing, apply 2x daily to the sores
* baking powder – reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth, apply to the sores a few times a day
* baking soda – use as a mouth wash by mixing 1 teaspoon of soda into half a glass of warm water, soothes and refreshes the mouth
* salt – mix 2 tablespoons with half a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth at least 4x a day with this solution
* grapefruit seed extract – excellent disinfectant, add 5 drops to a glass of water and rinse the mouth with this solution 2x daily – morning and evening
* hydrogen peroxide – use as a mouth wash by mixing 1 third of the peroxide with 2 thirds water [making up 1/2 glass], rinse the mouth with this solution 2x daily
* onion – apply some raw onion to the sores, may burn a bit but an excellent remedy for healing
* plum and papaya juice – have great healing properties, drink these at least 2x a day [swirling the juice in the mouth a few times first]
* tea tree oil – apply directly to the sores with a cotton wool ball, helps pain and promotes healing
As with all illnesses a well balanced diet needs to be followed. This is to help the immune system to function to the best of its ability.
Danger signs in these sores
Unusually large sores
Recurring before the first onset has healed
Persistent and last longer than 3 weeks no matter what treatment you have tried
Extends out of the mouth to the lips
Very sore and the pain cannot be relieved by any over the counter meds or home remedies
Sores are accompanied by a high fever
It gets harder and harder to eat or drink
If any of the above symptoms are experienced it would be advisable to go see your doctor as soon as possible to detect whether there is a serious underlying health problem.