What are some other associated conditions that may cause mouth sores?
Some systemic health conditions may cause a higher instance of canker sores. Your doctor or dentist can let you know about possible connections between canker sores and your other health conditions.
The group of digestive problems known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with aphthous ulcers. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which cause inflammation in the digestive tract, can also result in mouth sores. The gastrointestinal effects of celiac disease make it another one of the many conditions associated with canker sores. People with celiac disease have a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Their inability to absorb this protein may be what causes oral problems.
Diseases that attack the immune system often cause aphthous ulcers, as well. People living with HIV often develop canker sores and other oral health problems as a result of being immunocompromised. The difficulty of eating and talking that ulcers can cause can make it difficult to take medication and stay well-nourished.
Lupus and Behcet's disease are also conditions linked to canker sores. This rare autoimmune disease causes inflammation throughout the body, and the mouth can be affected, too.
How Can I Treat a Sore Spot?
Most mouth sores will heal on their own over time. However, while your mouth is healing, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain and prevent further irritation. According to the American Dental Association, saltwater or baking soda rinses can relieve your discomfort. There are also over-the-counter topical anesthetics to provide relief. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe an antiviral drug.
What are Other Ways to Help Healing?
There are a few canker and cold sore home remedy tips may help ease the discomfort during the healing process.
While your canker or cold sores are healing, try to avoid any foods or drinks that could further irritate them. Some of the foods, drinks and other things to consider avoiding are:
- Crunchy foods, like chips or toast
- Acidic fruits, like citrus or tomatoes
- Salty crackers or pretzels
- Spicy foods or hot peppers
- Very hot drinks, like tea or coffee
- Tobacco products
While many foods can irritate mouth sores, don't worry — there's still plenty you can eat! Instead of irritating foods, opt for soft, bland foods. Yogurt, mashed potatoes and pudding are just a few examples. Your dentist or doctor may be able to recommend other suitable foods to eat during this time.
Dietary changes aren't the only way to ease the discomfort associated with these ulcers. Ice is another easy home remedy to try when you have painful mouth sores. The Mayo Clinic recommends letting ice chips slowly melt against the lesions to help relieve pain and swelling.
If you suffer from recurrent canker sores, try to identify your triggers for mouth sores, such as acidic foods or stress, so you can better prevent them.
If you have sores inside your mouth, don't assume the worst. Just take it easy and avoid irritating them. Most sores go away on their own, but if any oral related sores do not heal within two weeks, go ahead and see your dentist or physician. Sometimes mouth sores are asymptomatic, so regular checkups, including a head and neck exam, is an essential preventive measure to keep you healthy.