About canker sores
Canker sores are tiny and shallow lesions that appear in the mouth, usually on the soft tissues under the tongue, or inside the cheeks and lips and at the base of the gums. Canker sores are also known under the name aphthous ulcers. They are usually round or oval, and have a white or yellow center with red border. Canker sores, which are not contiguous, differ from cold sores in that that they do not develop on the surface of the lips. Sometimes, canker sores are very painful, thus causing eating and talking very difficult. Canker sores are more frequent in women than in men, but in the majority of cases, they disappear after a week or two. Otherwise, it is advisable to visit a doctor or a dentist.
Types of canker sores
Canker sores can be divided into three major classes: minor canker sores, major canker sores and herpetiform canker sores. Minor canker sores are the most frequent. They are oval in shape, very small and disappear after a week or two, not leaving a scar. On the other hand, major canker sores are not so common, and they are larger with irregular shape. This type of canker sores after healing, which can last even six weeks, leaves a scar. Herpetiform canker sores are very tiny and often appear in clusters. They typically occur later in life, do not have a specific shape, and disappear after a week or two, without a scar.
Symptoms and causes of canker sores
Before the canker sores even appear, the person may feel a burning sensation in the mouth, which is the first symptom of this disorder. Furthermore, in some cases, fever and swollen lymph nodes are usual. Lethargy is also one of the symptoms of this condition. The main cause for the occurrence of cancer sores is not established yet, but there are several potential causes. One of them refers to injuries to the mouth that usually occur as a result of accidental biting of the cheeks, or after dental work, or because of some acidic and spicy foods that are additionally very hot. Some irritating chemicals are found in the chewing tobacco and they may also cause cancer sores.
Certain constant friction on the oral tissues, which is the consequence of the numerous orthodontic attachments may lead to the appearances of the canker sores. In most cases, these attachments are of some metal, for example nickel, which can cause allergies and canker sores. Usually it is called contact dermatitis. Sometimes, the canker sores may appear as a result of the sensitivity to certain foods, such as chocolate, eggs, strawberries, pineapple and nuts. The food must be rich in vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron, otherwise cancer sores may occur. Moreover, some bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, which are the main cause for the occurrence of peptic ulcer, can lead to the appearance of canker sores as well.
Certain medical conditions are also potential causes for this disorder, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and Behcet's disease. In women, canker sores may be caused by some changes of the hormones during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In addition to the above-mentioned causes, patients with HIV/AIDS are also at risk of developing this condition.