Oral health is a very important aspect of everyday life for everyone. The mouth is the organ for speech, eating, drinking, etc. There is hardly a day that goes by without the mouth being put to some use. If it stays healthy, every activity that involves the mouth will be carried out easily with little or no discomfort. However, when there is any form of injury inside or around the mouth, it can be a very uncomfortable experience.

One of the common health issues that can be found in our oral cavity are the canker sores. These sores which are also called aphthous ulcers are non-contagious, small shallow ulcers that appear anywhere within the walls of the mouth, the tongue, gums or on the lips. It is an open, painful sore that leaves the affected area inflamed.

Possible Causes of Canker Sores.

Though canker sores are pretty common, yet in most cases, there seems not to be a definite cause. However, there are certain risk factors or triggers that could lead to its occurrence. Some of these factors include:

  1. Deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals.
  2. Immune system challenges.
  3. Stress.
  4. Intake of certain citrus or acidic fruits or spicy food.
  5. Allergies.
  6. Infections.
  7. Injuries from a sharp object.

Some Symptoms of Canker Sores

  1. A painful, burning or tingling sensation before the sore shows up.
  2. Painful sore(s) in the mouth. This could be anywhere around the walls of the mouth, on the tongue, gums or lips.
  3. The lymph nodes may become swollen.
  4. Reddish inflamed regions within the mouth.
  5. Feverish feelings and headaches.
  6. Heaviness of the body, causing a sluggish feeling.

Some Preventive Measures.

Though there is no clear cut procedure to prevent canker sores, however, certain lifestyle modifications can actually help:

  1. Identify previous triggers and avoid them. These could be certain drinks, fruits or foods that are acidic, or spicy.
  2. Do not use sharp objects in your mouth to avoid injuries.
  3. Maintain a healthy oral practice. Brush your teeth, gums and tongue at least twice a day. Do not use a toothbrush with very hard bristles if it has the tendency to hurt any part of your mouth.
  4. Endeavor to consciously work on reducing the stress level in your daily lifestyle.
  5. Based on your doctor’s recommendation, in the event you might have some deficiencies, you can take some vitamin and mineral supplements to boost your body system.

Possible Treatments for Canker Sores.

Canker sores most of the times can actually heal without treatment within 1 to 2 weeks. The pains eventually subside and the sores go away. However, in some cases, the canker sore can actually persist for longer periods. The following tips can be helpful in treating it.

  1. It is important to brush and floss your teeth to prevent bacterial infection.
  2. When brushing your teeth, avoid brushing on the sores so it doesn’t bleed and worsens.
  3. Avoid spicy foods, acidic fruits, and any other substance that could aggravate the sores and lengthen the healing process.
  4. Gargle your mouth with a mixture of warm water and a little bit of salt. This helps to lessen the discomfort.
  5. Studies have shown that honey can be effective in the treatment of canker sores.
  6. In the event the canker sores become unbearably painful, and even widens in size or deepens, accompanied with feverish feelings, headaches and general discomfort, it is absolutely necessary to see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis, and treatment.

Oral health is very essential to our overall well-being. Canker sores being one of the health issues as well as reasons for discomfort within the mouth, it needs to be prevented or promptly treated as the case may be, to enhance our oral health.

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