What is a Canker Sore?
A Canker sore (aphthous stomatitis) is a tiny lesion that appears in the mouth. They can be identified by their color which is usually gray, yellowish or white with a reddish color on the outside of them. Canker sores most often appear on the inside of the cheeks, along the gums, on the lips or tongue.
Identifying a Canker Sore
A canker sore looks a lot like cold sores but they are not caused by the same thing. Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex virus.
Canker sores are not something you would normally see the doctor for. If you leave a canker sore alone, they will usually go away within 14 days. A canker sore does have a tendency to cause a lot of pain and discomfort and make eating more challenging. If a canker sore has become extremely large or infected and causes a lot of trouble with eating then you should seek medical advice.
A lot of people think canker sores are contagious but this is, in fact, a myth. They are thought to be caused by a problem within the immune system. So, rest assured, you do not need to worry about ‘catching’ a canker sore from kissing or eating after someone.
What Causes a Canker Sore?
There are several things that can cause a canker sore to pop up: stress, poor diet, rampant emotions and an injury to the mouth (such as biting on the cheeks or from a dentist visit). They also seem to appear when the immune system has been weakened by things such as pregnancy or PMS. When our immune system is already weakened by an infection, canker sores seem to be at their best. Most of the time only the mouth lesions occur but, in rare cases, a canker sore carries with them fatigue, fever and swollen glands.
Bacteria in the mouth is a leading cause for canker sores. Make sure that you use a high quality mouthwash or gargle with salt water twice a day, at least. Be sure that you also brush and floss twice a day. Use a soft tooth brush and do not push too hard while brushing because this can upset the gums and make developing a canker sore more likely.
Natural Help for a Canker Sore
Try to stay from spicy food because this will aggravate a canker sore and cause it to sting. The best way to deal with the pain is by sucking on an ice cube. Additional vitamin B12, iron and folic acid help to bolster your bodies defenses against canker sores. Mercurius Solubilis can be used to strengthen the health of your throat and mouth. Give your immune system the support it needs by using herbs such as Hypoxis Rooperi, Astragulus and Buchu.
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