If you have ever noticed a small, red sore that is white-grey or yellow at the middle with a well defined red border in the inside of your cheek, lip and sometimes but not often, on your tongue, then you may have a condition known as canker sores. However, they differ from blisters which are herpes and appear outside of the lips or face. Canker sores are minor aphthous or mouth ulcers.
Though they hurt, it is not always very serious. The pain is short-lived as they are in their worst phase within three to four days. The sores normally disappear within ten days. These infernal sores may reoccur once or twice a month. If it lingers for more than ten days, please see your doctor.
There is an ongoing debate in the medical community as to whether to attribute aphthous ulcers to viral infection or bacterial infection. Consequently, there is no known cure for canker sores for now as the root cause is yet to be discovered. But it has been observed to inflict those fatigued, undergoing certain medication or malnourished. Students taking their final exams are also prone to this condition. And naturally, heredity is a big factor. Women are more likely to suffer from canker sores than men. Some women have it more during menstruation. The good news is that aphthous ulcers are not contagious. Consumption of acidic citrus fruits might be a cause of canker sores.
As mentioned in the last paragraph, there is no known cure yet but the following remedies could help prevent its occurrence:
1. Antibacterial Agents These include any mouthwash with the capability to kill bacteria such as scope or Listerine. Iodine based washes are also perfect remedies if you are not keen on mouthwashes. Apply iodine based antibacterial agents regularly but avoid swallowing the substance.
2. Acidic Citrus Fruits Since this category of food is suspected to cause or aggravate the condition, it is only logical to avoid or reduce its consumption. Spicy meals are not left out in this category.
3. Toothpastes with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This is the foaming agent in most toothpaste brands in the market but care should be taken by a sufferer to avoid these brands. Always look out for SLS-free brands of toothpaste when shopping for one.
4. Benadryl Allergy Liquid: This is one of the Canker sore relief products in the market which helps with the pain. It should be used as prescribed or at least not more than six times a day and should not be swallowed.
5. Orabase By Colgate: This is one of the very effective products in the market that help kill the pain that comes with canker sores. Anything that contains benzocaine, lidocaine, or phenol will do. In fact, any type of local anesthetic should help if you have a painful canker sore.
There are so many brands out there in the market today which claim to cure canker sores but honestly, there are only a handful of remedies available.