CANKER SORES

07 Jun 2019

ABSTRACT –

Canker sores and aphthous ulcers are the same which are simply mouth ulcers. Small and shallow ulcers appear on the soft tissue of mouth or gums and not on surface of the lips which are not even contagious but it does make eating, drinking and talking painful and difficult. These ulcers generally get cured within 2 weeks.

CAUSES –

  • Citrus fruits or highly acidic and spicy food
  • Injury due to dental appliances like braces and dentures or accidental cheek/ tongue bite
  • High sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpastes and mouth wash
  • Hormonal factors during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
  • Food sensitivity or allergy
  • Stress
  • Lack of vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

  • Painful sores on the tongue, soft palate, inside of the cheek
  • White or grey with red edged sores in oval shape
  • Fever
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in severe cases
  • Difficulty in eating, drinking and talking
  • Burning sensation in mouth
  • Indigestion

DIAGNOSIS –

  • Visual examination
  • Blood test

TREATMENT –

  • Mouth wash to reduce swelling and pain
  • Topical products like creams, gels or liquid to applied on sores
  • Oral medications
  • Cauterization of sores by instrument or chemicals
  • Supplement of nutrition like folic acid, B6, B12, zinc

PREVENTIONS –

  • Maintain oral hygiene
  • Avoid allergic food or which can trigger sores
  • Taking care while using dental appliances
  • Use soft brush
  • Check product ingredients of toothpaste, mouth wash etc.
  • Stress Management

RISK FACTORS –

  • Certain food or allergies
  • Teen and young adults (specially females)
  • Family history

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • Canker sores mostly affects children and young adults with age less than 40 years.
  • More common in women as compared to men.
  • Majorly seen in non-smokers and people with high socio-economic status.
  • 3 times more common in white people than black people and affects 25% of population worldwide.

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