Canker Sores 

Canker sores can be very painful.  If you are unfortunate enough to develop a canker sore you will definitely be looking for some relief.   

Some people think that a cold sore and a canker sore are the same thing.  This is not the case.  Cold sores develop on the outside of the mouth and are caused by a virus.  Canker sores develop on the inside of the mouth.  Canker sores may be caused by certain foods, stress, or injury inside the mouth.  Both cold sores and canker sores can be painful, but they are not the same.  Different treatment is required for either a cold sore or a canker sore. 

You can be fairly sure that you have a canker sore if you feel a burning sensation or rough spot develop before the sore appears, you have a low-grade fever, swollen lymph glands or feel sluggish. 

Acidic foods such as lemons, oranges, pineapple, figs, apples, strawberries or tomatoes may trigger a canker sore.  Carbonated drinks and acidic juices can contribute to the formation of canker sores or may exacerbate a sore.  Dental problems such as a sharp tooth or ill-fitting dentures may also cause a canker sore.  Friction from braces may cause a canker sore. 

There are two types of canker sores.  One type is the simple canker sore caused by the dental problems or foods previously discussed.  The second type is the complex canker sore and this type is usually caused by some underlying medical condition that causes immune system depletion   A deficiency in vitamins or minerals can play a major role in the development of canker sores. 

Stay away from the foods previously discussed when you have an active canker sore since eating them will cause you pain and may make your condition worse. 

There are a few things you can try to bring some relief from the canker sore pain.  There are over the counter remedies that may help with the pain and may help speed up the healing process.  The sooner you use the topical gels on the canker sore, the sooner it will heal.  If you are prone to getting canker sores often you might want to keep some of this get product on hand. 

It will help keep your mouth clean if you get a toothbrush with soft bristles and use it. 

You might use a salt water mixture or mouthwash to rinse out your mouth.  This process will help most people.  The sore will heal more quickly when it is kept clean.  Using either mouthwash or salt water solution may be painful, but the sting may be worth it to help the healing process.  

Since poor nutrition can contribute to the formation of canker sores you might want to consider using vitamin and mineral supplements to provide your body with needed nutrients and this might help clear things up more quickly. 

Getting enough rest and trying to reduce stress is also important for your overall health. 

If you cannot eat or drink, or if your sores do not start to heal in a few days, you should see your dentist to receive treatment for your canker sore.  You should also see your dentist if other problems occur such as sores that spread, unusually large sores, sores that cause severe pain, sores that last more than three weeks, or if you have a high fever. 

Making a few simple lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce the number of canker sore outbreaks you develop.