The aphthous ulcers treatment involves use of easy methods that help heal these canker sores in a week or two. Read through the following article to learn more on the treatment options for oral aphthous ulcers.
A painful mouth ulcer that appears like a shallow lesion is called aphthous ulcer or canker sore. It occurs in the soft tissues of the mouth and the base of the gums. These aphthous ulcers are very painful and occur anywhere in the mouth. These ulcers are very common, but not contagious at all. As they are very painful, people suffering from these sores are often searching for aphthous ulcers treatment. We shall have a look at the treatment options in the following paragraphs, but before that let’s have a quick look at the causes, classification and symptoms of the condition.
One often wonders what causes these painful aphthous ulcers in the mouth. The causes of canker sore are not always very clear, but it may occur due to a number of possible factors like a minor gum injury after brushing your teeth too hard, eating a lot of spicy food, accidentally biting the inside of your cheeks or after a visit to the dentist. Some people are highly sensitive to certain foods like coffee, strawberries, eggs, acidic foods, chocolates, etc. This may lead to development of aphthous ulcers due to irritation in the mouth.
Many times, food allergies and allergic reaction to certain bacteria may also lead to these ulcers. Emotional stress, nutritional deficiency like vitamin B, iron and folic acid deficiency, etc may lead to canker sores. Diseases such as Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Behcet’s disease, infection by Helicobacter pylori, HIV/AIDS, menstruation and use of certain toothpastes and mouth rinses also lead to aphthous ulcers. However, the aphthous ulcers are not caused or associated with herpes virus.
The aphthous ulcers are classified according to the diameter of the ulcer. There are three categories of aphthous ulcers:
- Minor ulceration: The ulcer is about 3 to 10 mm in diameter and is yellowish or grayish in color. This ulcer lasts for about 2 weeks and is extremely painful.
- Major ulceration: These ulcers appear similar to minor ulceration. However, they are larger in size and are about 10 mm in diameter. These are extremely painful and take about a month to heal. These ulcers heal leaving a scar and may recur during puberty.
- Herpetiform ulceration: These are the most severe forms of ulcers that occur more commonly in women. They are about 1 to 3 mm in diameter and occur in clusters. They heal in about a month and do not form scars.
A tingling or burning sensation is observed in the mouth at the site where the aphthous ulcers will appear. After a few days, one will observe a red bump that turns into an ulcer. The ulcer is white or yellow in color and sometimes has a white halo around the lesion. The ulcer is very painful, and may occur along with fever, discomfort in teeth and swollen lymph nodes.
We shall now go into the details of aphthous mouth ulcers treatment. Minor ulceration normally does not require any treatment. These minor aphthous ulcers clear off on their own in a week or so. However, if the ulcers are too large and extremely painful, one may have to try some of the treatment options for aphthous ulcers. These include use of mouth rinse that contain the steroid, dexamethasone. It helps reduce the pain and inflammation. Oral suspensions containing the antibiotic, tetracycline also heal the ulcers and reduce the pain. The doctor may also prescribe topical pastes that contain benzocaine, fluocinonide, etc, that cure the ulcers.
Debacterol is a solution that is made for treating canker sores and gum problems. Those suffering from deficiencies are asked to consume folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and zinc rich foods as well as supplements. Application of ‘milk of magnesia’ topically over the ulcers is also said to heal the lesions. One should avoid eating spicy, acidic as well as very salty foods when suffering from canker sores. Avoid drinking too hot drinks and use a very soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. Do not smoke till the ulcers heal or they may get worse.
As you can see, the treatment is usually very plain and simple. The ulcer occurs due to an underlying health problem, the doctor will try to address it first and then treat the ulcer. Aphthous ulcers are not contagious and will not spread from one person to another. They are, however, very painful. If you have any doubts about these ulcers, speak to your doctor for more information.