Changes on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity can be very painful and constantly return throughout life. More than 25% of the population have canker sores, they first appear in childhood or adolescence...
Aphthous ulcers are mostly not talked about, but many people suffer from painful sores in their mouths. They most often appear on the inside of the lips and cheeks, and they can also be found on the edge of the tongue. They are very painful, even with the slightest movement of the mucous membrane so they also cause problems when eating.
Canker sores or ulcers occur in children and adults, it can be just one or several at a time. They usually appear for the first time in childhood or adolescence and return throughout life. They have a round or oval shape, yellowish deposits at the bottom and are separated from the mucous membrane by a red ring.
There is no precise answer, and hereditary factors and changes in cellular immunity are cited as possible causes. They also occur as a result of stress, neurosis, avitaminosis, lack of iron, folic acid, vitamin B1 or B12. It can also be due to poor oral and dental hygiene.
When do mouth sores appear that are not canker sores?
These changes occur due to certain diseases and when they are cured, the sores also disappear. For example, with anemia characterized by a lack of iron or vitamin B, sores can appear in the oral cavity. When iron and vitamin B are replaced the sores go away.
They can also occur with skin diseases, diseases of the digestive organs such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease or some other disease of the digestive system, but also with diseases of the connective tissue. Ulcerations also occur due to viral infections, syphilis and tuberculosis or are a consequence of the unwanted effects of certain medications. These sores no longer appear when the disease is cured while canker sores appear periodically throughout life.
Lozenges which are sucked because of sore throats can alleviate the problems that accompany canker sores. It is important that they contain an anesthetic and that they are not taken more than three times a day. Avoid those with benzocaine, because this ingredient makes the flow of oxygen in the tissue difficult for some people. People with diabetes can use lozenges without sugar.
Depending on the clinical manifestation, they can be aphtha minor, aphtha major and herpetiform. What they all have in common is that they are painful and keep coming back. They can appear all over the oral cavity, except for the gingiva, the hard palate or the dorsum of the tongue, i.e. the upper surface of the tongue.
Aphthae minor are the smallest, up to one centimeter in diameter, appear one or more, last from seven to ten days. They heal spontaneously without a visible scar. On the other hand, canker sores are larger than one centimeter in diameter, last longer than a month, and heal with a scar. For them, therapy with local application of corticosteroids is necessary.
They resemble a herpes infection, and they can also occur as part of systemic diseases. They are more common in women, appearing as dotted, multiply irregularly shaped sores. They are most often on the inside of the tongue. Treatment can be local or combined with therapy for systemic disease, which is proven by laboratory analyzes and other diagnostic procedures.
Sometimes additional tests are needed, especially if it is persistent canker sores or canker sores that do not respond to standard corticosteroid therapy. The goal of therapy is primarily to reduce pain, shorten the duration of ulceration and extend the interval between two occurrences. At the same time, all factors that lead to canker sores must be removed, if there are systemic diseases, they must be brought under control. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the healing time, if it is longer than two weeks, you should definitely go to a specialist in oral medicine, because such sores can indicate malignancy.
Therapy can thin it out, but it is important to take care of oral hygiene. Soft brushes are recommended for brushing teeth, avoid pastes containing NLS, i.e. sodium lauryl sulfate. Spicy food should be avoided in the diet, and milk in some situations.
Alcohol and tobacco should not be consumed. Also, it is important to eliminate local irritations, such as the sharp edges of the teeth, and it is necessary to protect the mucous membrane from the hooks and clasps of orthodontic appliances. It is necessary to replace amalgam fillings and repair bad prosthetic interventions. Finally, it is important to get stress under control. It is interesting that canker sores almost never occur in smokers, but in ex-smokers they occur at the same rate as in non-smokers.
Throat canker sores most often occur between the ages of 20 and 40, and in that period even 85% of women have them, and 60% of people have them at least once a year. Genetics play a role. Research shows that in 42% of cases canker sores occur among members of the same family and in even 90% of cases, they are inherited from the mother and father. If the parents did not have them, the risk that they will appear is only 20%.
It is important to mention that canker sores are not contagious and cannot be transmitted to another person. They appear more often in younger people, and then thin out until they completely disappear in old age.