What Are Canker Sores,What Causes Them?

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The last thing that you want to have to deal with amid your already busy routine are canker sores. These annoying little lesions in your mouth can cause much pain and frustration.

Since they occur inside of your oral cavity, they are very difficult to treat, as they inhabit a moist and dark place that’s ideal for the spreading and growth of bacteria. According to expert estimates, nearly half of all people living the United States will suffer from canker sores at least one time during their life. Due to the chronic and common nature of canker sores, they can be painful and frustrating. Thankfully, there are some effective treatment methods that you can incorporate that will allow you to reduce the pain, severity and the healing time that is generally associated with canker sores. 

Canker Sores
Canker Sores

What Are Canker Sores?

Canker sores are commonly misperceived to be a cold sore or a fever blister, or even a tongue or a cheek bite. About 45% of people in the US will get canker sores during their lifetime. They are more common amongst adolescents, who experience canker sores more often than adults do. There are some misconceptions regarding canker sores.

The most prominent misconception is that they are caused by the herpes simplex virus, when such is indeed not the case. Canker sores are actually just sores, and often will appear as one or a cluster of small lesions and sores that are about 9-10 millimeters in diameter, and that have a prominent white circle in the middle. They can last anywhere from 2-10 weeks, or longer if not properly treated.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Nobody actually really knows what causes canker sores. But they only appear inside of the mouth. Even medical experts are perplexed by their cause, and to-date there is no evidence that purports the actual cause of canker sores, which are medically defined as: aphthous ulcers.

Canker Sores Signs & Symptoms

Don’t confuse canker sores with fever blisters or cold sores, which only appear on the outside of the mouth, and that unlike canker sores are caused by a viral infection. Rather, you can easily indentify canker sores, as they appear as a single or a cluster of sores that are white in the center and that are about 10 millimeters in diameter. They are painful to the touch, and they may even throb slightly when left untreated. The only related symptoms is the annoyance of their presence and the pain that they cause when eating food or drinking fluids.

Risks Associated with Canker Sores

The only risks associated with canker sores are that they can stay present for a long period of time and cause much discomfort and unneeded pain. If left untreated, one lesion may turn into a cluster of larger lesion, causing even more discomfort and pain to the sufferer.

How to Prevent Canker Sores?

Since there is no medical evidence that tells what causes canker sores, and since their cause is truly unknown, it’s nearly impossible to tell you how you can prevent something from occurring when it’s not defined as to how it occurs in the first place.

How to Prevent Canker Sores
How to Prevent Canker Sores

Treatments Available for Canker Sores

If you are suffering from canker sores, here is some simple treatment advice. There are also some natural remedies and home based treatments that may help you to effectively treat canker sores. Make sure to see that section below this one so you know what your natural treatment options are.

  • Use over the counter protection treatments to cover the lesion
  • Use numbing agents to reduce the pain of the canker sore
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking
  • Avoid citrus and spicy foods
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene for healthy gums and teeth, and to help ward off canker sores

Home Based Treatments & Natural Remedies for Canker Sores

There are some effective and affordable natural treatment options that can allow you to naturally deal with canker sores. Most of the natural remedies and home based treatments will just help to reduce the pain and the severity of canker sores.

  • Peppermint oil can be dabbed on them to reduce the pain and inflammation
  • Clove oil offers similar benefits as peppermint oil when treating canker sores
  • Cold ice can numb the sore and reduce the swelling
  • A natural disinfecting rinse can reduce the healing time drastically

Cost to Treat Canker Sores

The costs to treat canker sores can vary, depending upon which route you choose for treatment and the frequency of canker sores occurring in you life. They can cost anywhere from $10-$20 per week to treat when they are present.

Our Recommendation

You can treat and prevent gum infections by adhering to a stringent oral health care regiment. The better that you take care of your mouth, tongue, teeth and gums daily, the less likely that your gums will become infected or be prone to gum disease, not to mention the more protected and healthy that your teeth will be as well.

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