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Canker Sore :- Symptom, Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Home Remedy and Home Treatment for Canker Sore

Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers (aphthae), are for people who experience them. These shallow ulcers in your mouth can make eating and talking uncomfortable. They may occur on your tongue, on your soft palate, inside your cheeks or lips, and at the base of your gums.

Canker sores are common, but the cause in many cases is unknown. Canker sores can occur at any age, but often they first appear when you are between 10 and 40 years of age.

Most of the time, treatment isn't necessary for canker sores. Pain usually decreases after several days, and canker sores typically heal within one to three weeks. Occasionally canker sores can develop that are larger than 1 centimeter in diameter or last longer than two weeks.

Canker Sore Symptom

burning or tingling sensation before other symptoms develop (warning symptom)

Skin lesion on mucous membranes of the mouth

Begins as a red spot or bump

Then develops into an open ulcer

Usually small, 1-2 mm to 1 cm

Occasionally larger than 1 cm

Single or clusters, often appears in groups (crops)


Center appears white or yellow with fibrous texture

Halo border is bright red

May have gray membrane just prior to healing


General discomfort or uneasiness

Swollen lymph nodes

What Cause Canker Sore

No one is certain what causes canker sores. They often first appear between the ages of 10 and 20, although they can occur at any time in a person's life. One thing that doctors have noticed is that although the sores are not contagious, they can run in families. That means if your parents or siblings get canker sores, the genes you share with them make it more likely that you'll develop the sores, too.

There may be a connection between canker sores and stress. If the sores show up around exam time or some other big event in your life, it may be a sign of how much stress you're under. In addition, about twice as many women as men get them. Doctors think that may be due to the difference in male and female hormones, especially because women often get them during certain times in their menstrual cycle. Dietary deficiencies, such as not getting enough iron or vitamin B12, may also contribute to some cases of canker sores

Canker Sore Diagnosis

Mild canker sores (simple aphthosis) are common and usually heal within one to three weeks. These short-lived sores cause only minimal pain and are located only in the mouth. Patients should see a doctor if they have six or more episodes per year or if they have continuous ulcers.

Only 5 percent of patients with canker sores have severe canker sores (complex aphthosis) -- persistent, painful sores that don't heal. Patients may also have genital lesions. Approximately two-thirds of people with complex aphthosis have one or more associated conditions, such as an intestinal or blood disease, or a deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamins B-6 or B-12 or zinc. These patients should have a thorough medical evaluation, including blood tests. When testing reveals a serious illness, patients are referred to appropriate specialists

Difference Between Canker Sore and Cold Sore

Canker sores and cold sores share many of the same features. Both are painful and both are often caused by stress. Although they frequently appear on the lips and edges of the mouth, cold sores can occur in the mouth as well where they may be mistaken for canker sores.

The main differences are that inside the mouth cold sores tend to occur more on the bound or non-movable parts of the mouth such as the roof of the mouth. Cold sores are caused by a virus and therefore can be passed from person to person.

Canker sores are not caused by a virus and therefore cannot be passed from person to person. They do not appear outside of the mouth.

Canker Sore Treatment

Treatment is usually not necessary. In most cases, the canker sores go away by themselves.

Severe mouth ulcers (larger than 1 cm or lasting longer than 2 weeks) may require evaluation and treatment. In these cases, topical or oral (by mouth) tetracycline suspension may be given, with instructions to hold it in the mouth for 2-5 minutes before swallowing.

Avoid hot or spicy foods to minimize discomfort. Mild mouth washes such as salt water or over-the-counter mouthwashes may help. Over-the-counter topical medications (applied to a specific area of the mouth) may reduce discomfort and soothe the ulcerated area.

There are a number of treatments that reduce the pain and duration of canker sores for individuals whose outbreaks cannot be prevented. These treatments include numbing preparations, that are applied on the sores when a patient has only a few, and anti-inflammatory steroid mouthwashes or gels for patients with several sores.

Some doctors recommend applying ice to the canker sore, avoiding food that is irritating, and rinsing your mouth with over-the-counter preparations . To prevent bacterial infection, brush and floss your teeth regularly and visit the dentist for routine care.

Prevention of Canker Core

Avoid injury to the inside of your mouth

Chew food slowly and carefully.

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and brush your teeth thoroughly but gently.

Avoid foods that seem to cause sores.

Home Remedy for Canker Sore

Onion Apply raw onion to the sore.

Cankers can be cleared up by sucking on or chewing several papaya tablets a couple of times each day. Fresh papaya fruit would be good, too, if you can find it, and, if you live where there are fresh papaya leaves, chew on them.

Plum juice Take two tablespoons of fresh plum juice and use it as a mouth rinse for several minutes. For a bad sore soak a cotton ball in plum juice and use it as a compress for a few minutes.

At the first sign of a canker sore, gargle with a mixture of 1 teaspoon soda and a pinch of salt in 1 cup of warm water.

Take a fresh piece of Sorrel herb and place it on the sore until it becomes soggy; repeat. It should ease the pain quickly and speed healing. Sorrel has astringent and antiseptic properties and has long been used for various skin ailments.

Try using a used tea bag on the canker. Press it on the sore like a wad of chewing tobacco and hold it there as long as you can. The tannic acid in the tea is an astringent and will relieve pain and aid healing.

Tea tree oil contains antiseptic compounds that are a very effective skin disinfectant. Depending on severity, use 5-15% solutions daily. See our Product.

Salt water is another remedy you can use. Mix 2 tablespoons of salt in a 6-ounce glass of warm water and use as a mouth rinse 3-4 times a day.

The herb burdock , taken as a tea or in capsules, may effectively treat cankers and other skin problems such as eczema, boils, acne, and herpes. To make the tea, bring 1 quart of water to a boil, reduce to simmer, adding 4 teaspoons of cut, dried root. Cover and let simmer for 7 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep for 2 more hours. Drink a minimum of 2 cups a day on an empty stomach. You may also use the tea as a skin wash.

Goldensea l Make a mouth rinse of 1/4-teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon goldenseal powder, and 1 cup of warm water. Use several times a day. You can also apply a pinch of powdered goldenseal to the sore.

Lady's mantle Drink an infusion of lady's mantle to soothe the canker.


Buckwheat, wheat, oats, rye, barley, the gluten protein found in grains

Lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, strawberries

Milk, cheeses

Nuts, chocolate, shellfish, soy, vinegar, French mustard

Cinnamonaldehyde (a flavoring agent), benzoic acid (a preservative)

Toothpastes, mints, gums, dental materials, metals, medications

Home Treatment for Canker Sore

Avoid coffee, spicy and salty foods, and citrus fruits.

Apply an oral paste, to the canker sore. It will protect the sore, ease pain, and speed healing;

Rinse your mouth with a mixture of one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in eight ounces of water.

A thin paste of baking soda and water applied to the sore may bring relief.


If mouth sores develop after you start taking medication

If canker sores, or any sore, does not heal in 14 days

If sore is very painful or recurs frequently

If whit spots that are not canker sores appear in the mouth and are not improving in one to two weeks.

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