Canker Sore Treatment in Montgomery, AL
What Is a Canker Sore?
Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small, painful ulcers that appear on the inside of the mouth, specifically the tongue, soft palate, or inside of the cheek. They are typically red on the outside—due to inflammation—with a white or yellow center. You can have more than one canker sore at a time.
Though most canker sores are an annoyance, they are not contagious and typically heal within a couple of weeks without treatment. However, there are some instances where a visit to your healthcare provider can be beneficial. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare practitioner in Montgomery who specializes in canker sore treatment, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Alabama Functional Medicine online.
Canker Sore Causes
What exactly causes a canker sore is unknown, but there are many possible factors. In fact, research suggests that there may be more than one factor working at once. These numerous factors include:
- Mouth injury, like biting your lip or from dental braces
- Food allergies, specifically coffee, chocolate, or spicy foods
- Drinking acidic juices
- Using toothpaste and mouth rinses with sodium lauryl sulfate
- A lack of vitamins B12, zinc, folate, or iron
- Hormonal changes
- Emotional stress
- Autoimmune disorders
- The bacteria Helicobacter pylori
- Crohn’s disease, oral cancer, or HIV/AIDS
Anyone of any age can have canker sores, but people between the ages of 10-20 years old tend to have them more frequently. Women, teens and young adults tend to have them more often as well.
There are three different types of canker sores that can form:
- Minor canker sores are the most common type of canker sore; they are small (3-10mm), oval shaped, and heal without scarring within a few weeks.
- Major canker sores are larger and deeper (greater than 10mm), much more painful, round, and heal with scarring.
- Herpetiform canker sores are uncommon and tend to form later in life. They are the size of a pinpoint (2-3mm each), have irregular edges, heal without scarring in about two weeks, and form in clusters of 10 to 100 sores that can sometimes merge into one large ulcer.
Patients sometimes confuse canker sores with cold sores. Although very similar, these two ailments have some important differences. While canker sores form as inflamed sores inside the mouth and are not contagious, cold sores form as blisters on the lips, nose, and eyes and are caused by the very contagious herpes simplex virus.
Canker Sore Symptoms
The symptoms of a canker sore are usually not severe. A burning, tingling or prickling sensation typically arrives 24 hours before a canker sore forms. Canker sores can be painful and can make talking and eating uncomfortable.
While most canker sores pose no health risk, you should contact your healthcare professional if you experience certain canker sore symptoms; sometimes they symptoms can be signs of a more serious disease. These symptoms include:
- A fever
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- The canker sore lasts more than three weeks
- Especially large sores
- The sores are spreading
Treating a Canker Sore
Most canker sores will heal within one to three weeks on their own and require no medical treatment. Serious canker sores may take about six weeks to heal and require over-the-counter or prescription medication.
There are many different canker sore treatments that you can make and try at home. In particular, mouthwashes to help alleviate any discomfort and to accelerate healing can be created with a few simple ingredients. The specific mouthwashes you can make include:
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with ½ cup water
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) gargled in warm water
- Sage, chamomile herbs and water mix
- Saltwater rinses
- Goldenseal mouth rinse
Additionally, applying ice chips, milk of magnesia, or Orabase® on to your canker sore using a cotton swab three to four times a day can help relieve the pain you are experiencing. Aspirin and ibuprofen can also be used should pain persist.
There are various medications that healthcare professionals can prescribe in order to treat canker sores if home remedies fail to provide you relief. These include prescription strength mouthwashes, painkillers, antibiotics or corticosteroids.
The best way to treat canker sores is to reduce the chance of them forming. To reduce mouth irritation and the likelihood of developing canker sores:
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush
- Floss each day
- Avoid chewing gum or eating hard food
Treating a canker sore should never be something to worry about. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare practitioner in Montgomery who specializes in canker sore pain relief, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Alabama Functional Medicine online.
Alabama Functional Medicine
Address7040 Sydney Curve
Montgomery, AL 36117
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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