One morning I awoke with an agonizing pain near the gum of my lower lip, right beneath my teeth. I rushed to the mirror to notice an oval shape sore white in color, and surrounded by a red coloration. I asked my mother to take a look at it and she said it was a salt bump, a bump that occurred when too much salt is consumed. I did further research and found what I had to be, a canker sore.
What is a canker sore?
Canker sores are small sores or ulcers formed in the mouth.
Who is susceptible?
Canker sores can occur in children as young as two, in both men and women, although canker sores are very common in women in their 20’s, but really anyone can get a canker sore.
How Do I know If I have a canker sore?
Many times canker sores just sneak up, sometimes people may feel a slight tingling or burning sensation in the mouth just before the sore appears. Canker sores are circular or oval shaped, usually white and surrounded by a reddish border. Canker sores can be found in the inside of your mouth, on your cheeks, on your gums, on the inside of your lips, and even in your throat and tongue. Canker sores are painful, and can be so painful that if your face is absolutely bumped it is possible that the canker sore will become irritated (depending on where the sore is located) meaning the sore may burn and tingle for minutes. If left alone, the canker sore may not become that irritated and the pain might go unnoticed for sometime, it is when the sore is irritated by touching, or accidental bumping, making facial movements, and talking that the sore will become irritated and cause much pain.
Are Canker sores contagious? What causes them?
No, canker sores are not contagious; you can not get canker sores from others. Canker sores are not sexually related, these sores appear randomly. Canker sores can appear for many different reasons; stress, fatigue, food allergy, hormones, iron deficiency, wearing braces, menstruation, trauma to the area the sore appears in, (trauma that is caused by biting or brushing.) Be sure not to confuse a cold sore for a canker sore, cold sores are small reddish, purple blisters usually found on the outside of the mouth (on the corner of the lip), are contagious, and are derived from the herpes virus.
How Are They treated?
Within 2 weeks, Canker sores go away by themselves, no medication or intervention is required. Some canker sores may take longer to heal, 6 weeks longer.
What can I Use for the Pain?
Try eating a cold Popsicle, or placing something cold on the sore (ice).
Avoid eating foods and spices that might irritate the sore such as salt, hard crunchy foods, drinks and foods containing acid.
When drinking try to avoid swishing the beverage around in your mouth because if the beverage touches the sore, the sore can become irritated and sting
Some suggests rinsing the mouth with salt water, but as an early warning, this can cause some pain.
Dab a bit of Milk of Magnesia on the sore.
How to prevent canker sores?
Since canker sores occur so randomly it may be hard to prevent them, however if one knows what causes the canker to form (stress, fatigue, food allergy, trauma ec..) then perhaps it can be avoided to prevent future sores. Canker sores are painful and aggravating but the best thing to do is not to poke and prod at it every minute and stress over it, but to relax, while occasionally checking on it, just let it go away, if you stress over the sore, the longer it will take to heal,
Skin Problems and Treatments Health Center, http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/Canker-Sores-Topic-Overview
Aphthous Ulcer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canker_sore
Canker Sore, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/canker-sore/DS00354