Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Aphthous Ulcers (Canker Sores)

Ulcers in the mouth are quite common especially in children and young adults. Probably the most common is the Aphthous Ulcer otherwise known as a canker sore. We really don't know what causes them, but stress of various kinds can bring them on. Even if small they are quite uncomfortable. They tend to occur on the soft mucosa inside the lips or just beyond the gum tissues. There really is no cure, but they will go away on their own in about 10 to 14 days. These ulcers look like a small white spot surrounded by a red area. Any treatments are generally to reduce the discomfort. Possible over the counter treatments include baby oragel, tannic acid (Zilactin), Orabase-B ("B" for Benzocaine), Anbesol, etc.

Prescription medications my include anti-inflammatory medications such as Kenalog in orabase, or soothing mouth rinses for comfort. One I use a lot for really bad cases is a mixture of Benedryl liquid, viscous xylocaine, and maalox, all mixed together. Seems to help in some cases when there are multiple lesions. I have even seen some people use silver nitrate sticks to basically burn the lesions-hurts a lot at first but some say it helps the pain. ( I don't recommend this). As with all lesions a proper diagnosis is very important. You have to determine if it is something else. One basic guideline is, if it doesn't go away in 2 weeks, you get suspicious of other things.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

what if you have been on a different prescriptions and you are on piroxicam and you develop a canker sore is it best to treat it over the counter or let your dentist look at it.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I cannot say, but it is always good to get something checked out.

Anonymous said...

is a cold sore and a canker sore the same thing

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Oh, I'm glad you asked that:

A cold sore and a canker sore are not the same thing or not at least as most people use the terms.

A Fever Blister or cold sore(on the lip) is a viral thing, not the same thing. Link: Cold Sore/Mayo Clinic

Think of it this way: if it is on the lip, it's a fever blister/cold sore. If it is inside the mouth, like in the picture and just basically hurts, it's an aphthous ulcer or canker sore.

ljmpenny said...

I have suffered for many years(15-ish) with some very painful reoccuring canker sores on both the gums and under the tongue. My gen. pract. suggested Biotene toothpaste, and plain yogurt to reduce acid. It has worked for me, however the only drawback was drymouth so I have cut back on how much I use It(the toothpaste). I havent had any sore in almost 2 years. I also wanted to say that I am thankful for your site as I have read some very healpful comments regarding stainless steel crowns as my 7 year old just had that done. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible i guess to get a canker sore anywhere in your mouth even at the very back of your mouth

amhutch80 said...

My daughter has been getting recurrent aphthous ulcers ever since she was three and she is almost 12 now. When she gets them she gets several all around the mouth and they are very painful and can get quite large. She seems to have an episode every few months. Sometimes she gets a swollen lymph node on her right jaw. Is this something I should be worried about?

Anonymous said...

My 9-year old daughter and I both suffered from frequent outbreaks of canker sores.They were so painful and I read that using a toothpaste that does not contain sodium laurel sulfate helps.I went online and odered some and ever since,we have not had any sores in our mouths.Also,Wal-mart sells toothpaste that does not have SLS or floride in it and my daughter has been using that successfully for years.No sores!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Doctor Brandon,
What about tongue sores or bumps at the back of the mouth? Where you cannot really brush with the tooth brush.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Hmm, I am not sure what that would be--I'd get it checked out.

Anonymous said...

hi i had a question i have a 15 mnth old son and he has a bad case of canker sores all on his toungue and inside his mouth can the doctor prescribed him anything other than orjel or ibuprofen or will he jus give us the same thing?????? should we take him to the doctor if he has a fever too????

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Can't tell you what it is, but sounds more like a viral infection called primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. I see a lot of little kids get this with ulcers all over and they are pretty miserable..ask your dentist or physician. Fever is often present with this.

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rajaswari said...

Mouth ulcer causes redness, ulcers, blisters, and sulmucosal haemorrhages of mouth. Constipation is the root cause of the Mouth ulcers. Use constipation remedies for mouth ulcer remedies. Take plenty of green vegetables with fruit juices daily. Promptly answer nature calls. Avoid tea coffee and excessive smoking. Drink a full glass of water as soon as you get up from bed.

Mouth ulcer

Miley Gets Rid of her Canker Sores said...

Also known as aphthous ulcers, Canker Sores are painful breaks in the mucous membranes often found in the mouth. Sometimes, they can also be present in the upper throat. Although these little sores are not contagious, they can interfere with your eating and speaking because of the pain that accompanies them. With regard to diet, it has already been mentioned above that spicy foods can lead to the development of canker sores. This goes to the same for people whose diets lack folate, zinc, vitamin B12, and iron-rich foods. If you are looking for a more natural treatment option, you may want to try mangosteen supplements. Researches on the benefits of mangosteen showed that the fruit contains xanthones, which are responsible for mangosteen’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. I hope you find this information helpful.

Thank you,
Milley

Canker Sore Treatment said...

I've also heard that sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), an ingredient found in most brands of toothpaste can lead to the formation of canker sores. When I found this out, I threw out my toothpaste and bought one that didn't contain this ingredient. Might be something for other to consider doing. Thanks for the post!

sam said...

My question is regarding the silver nitrate...can it be used to arrest tooth decay in pre school children. Is this FDA appoved? Is this taught at dental schools?

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

No it is not used for dental caries (cavities). In the olden days I think it was used to disinfect root canals or something. In fact it is not really used at all except these sticks. I do not use the stuff at all.