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Coping With Canker Sores

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Canker sores can be the scourge of your world if you have them. The level of intensity of a canker sore can range from "slight annoyance" to "absolutely searing pain." It sometimes might seem like there's nothing you can do to alleviate the pain or annoyance of a canker sore, much less get rid of one of them. Fortunately for you, there is this article. This brief article will serve to inform you about canker sores. It will focus on 4 main areas: how to adequately define a canker sore, an explanation of why canker sores exist, an explanation of how to treat canker sores, and an answer to that age old question, "Can canker sores be prevented?"

What Are Canker Sores?  

Believe it or not, a canker sore is actually a form of an ulcer. As an ulcer it's a small opening that will occasionally bleed and can actually be indicative of internal bleeding, usually within the cheek or on the tongue. Canker sores are, generally speaking, divided into 2 categories, you could be afflicted with either simple canker sores or suffer from complex canker sores.

As the name suggests, simple canker sores are easier to diagnose and easier to take care of. These generally appear in people between the ages of 10 to 20 and last between 4 and 6 weeks. There is usually not much you can do to take care of them, but they tend to disappear on their own.

It is more unusual to suffer from complex canker sores. They take on the same general tenor of simple canker sores, but tend to last longer, be more painful, and appear in people who tended to receive simple canker sore with greater frequency. Complex cancor sores might also be accompanied by a light fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Why Do Canker Sores Occur?

There is a long list of reasons why canker sores might occur. One of the primary reasons that they occur in people ages 10 to 20 is because hormones are a great source of canker sore causation. Many a teenager is stuck with a canker sore they just can't seem to get rid of due to puberty. Simple canker sores are also though to be caused by stress, and often times occur after light tissue injury, such as biting the inside of your mouth.

Complex canker sores are usually caused by autoimmune disorders, nutritional deficiencies or underlining auto-immune disorders, like Crohn's disease

How Do I Treat A Canker Sore?

Luckily for you, canker sores can easily be treated. In most cases, if left untouched, a canker sore will most likely disappear within a week or so after manifesting itself. However, if you find that the pain is simply unbearable or that the ulcers are growing in scope and magnitude rather than shrinking after a week, it is probably best to contact a dentist (or even, in some cases, an oral hygienist). A dentist can take a look at your mouth and discover what is the cause for this growth and will usually prescribe something like an antimicrobial mouthwash and recommend OTC medicine to relieve the pain.

Can Canker Sores Be Prevented?

In a way, yes. Although there isn't a cure for canker sores, per se, there are steps that you can take that will help you avoid having to deal with canker sores. First and foremost, avoid foods that can lead to the formation of canker sores. Fruits and vegetables with a strong acidic content, such at citrus fruits, should be avoided, as well as overly spicy foods. Brushing twice daily after you meals with a soft bristled brush as well as flossing can rid your mouth of food particles that are known to cause canker sores. Avoid long stints of chewing gum as this can come to irritate the inside of your mouth.

Canker sores can be a painful and irritating phenomenon. Luckily, there are some simple ways to take care of them.