Canker sores are sores that exist on the mouth that are not cancerous but can be very painful and uncomfortable. Canker sores often get confused with cold sores, also known as fever blisters, but they are not the same thing. Canker sores are a type of ulcer in the mouth that is non-life threatening and temporary. They usually look like white or yellow sores on the mouth with redness around them. Canker sores are common sores on your mouth that are easy to treat, though most of them just go away on their own.
Causes of Canker Sores
Canker sores are a type of mouth ulcer that is common and doesn’t include many complications. They can come from a viral infection as well though the cause of them is mostly undetermined. Occasionally, canker sores appear more often with people that have a weak immune system because they are often linked to issues in someone’s immune system and the way their body defends viruses and infections. They can also be the result of a mouth injury or teeth cleaning. A number of things add to the likelihood of developing canker sores including a lack of proper vitamins and minerals in your diet, menstrual periods, emotional stress, hormonal changes, and certain food allergies. While anyone can get a canker sore, they are more common in women.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
A variety of symptoms are associated with canker sores, with the most common being a white or yellow sore surrounded by a bright red area on your mouth. They can be painful and you may have more than one on your mouth. Before it begins healing, you may notice a canker sore turn a grayish color and they are usually under 1 cm in size. Canker sores can be on the lip, inside the mouth, on the gums or even the tongue. Additional signs include fever, swollen lymph nodes and general discomfort. The pain of a canker sore typically lasts about a week but usually not longer than 3 weeks.
Diagnosing and Treating Canker Sores
Your doctor will be able to look at the canker sore on your mouth and determine if that is what it is, though he or she may run other tests to determine if you have other illnesses associated with the canker sores. Most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two but should be careful not to worsen them. Avoid eating spicy or hot temperature foods as they can make the canker sore hurt more. Try rinsing your mouth with warm water and salt to help it heal more quickly as well as taking aspirin to relieve the pain.