You should always be paying attention to your mouth since there is a lot it can tell you immediately in regards to your health. Your mouth often shows visual symptoms quite early on, this is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to adjust your behavior. However, if you ever see symptoms that appear as bumps, discoloration of the skin, or red spots, you should make a dentist appointment immediately. If it is something that isn’t serious you will have peace of mind, and if it does happen to be serious, you have a significantly better chance of treating it.
What Are Canker Sores?
Canker sores (also known as aphthous ulcers) are benign (harmless) mouth ulcers that can appear in various locations around the mouth. They are not contagious and usually resolve on their own without medical treatment in as little as 1-2 weeks. If the sore does not go away within this time, it is advisable to make a dentist appointment.
Canker sores can also reappear in some patients over a period of time, this phenomenon is referred to as Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS). Scientists are not entirely sure as to why canker sores appear, or reappear, however, some of the causes are believed to be:
- Viral infection
- Hormonal fluctuation
- Food allergy
- Menstrual cycle
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency
- Immune system problem
- Mouth injury
What Do Canker Sores Look Like?
What Is Mouth Cancer?
Canker Sore Symptoms
Generally, canker sores will be painful and it may seem like a sharp burning sensation before they even appear, and while they are present. These sores are often more painful during activities like eating or drinking, it would be a good idea to stay away from spicy, acidic, or abrasive food and drink while you have a sore. Severe cases of canker sores can actually impact appetite due to the discomfort and pain while eating.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
- Difficulty swallowing
- Painless swelling of one or both tonsils
- A painless lump in the neck
- A chronic cough, sore throat, or hoarse voice
- Loose teeth
- Ear pain
Any time you see a sore, or have significant acute (localized) pain, making a dentist appointment is highly advisable, if the sore does not go away within 2-3 weeks, it is critical that you make an appointment.
Canker Sore Treatment
A variety of treatment options are available for canker sores:
- Good oral care
- Healthy balanced diet
- Topical medications
- Anti-inflammatory drugs