Canker sores, also known by other names such as ulcers or sores, are a very common oral condition that can affect any oral tissue such as the tongue, lips, cheeks, palate or base of the gums. Canker sores cause pain and initially present as red inflamed spots and then open and acquire a whitish or yellowish color with a bright halo of redness around it. They are easily confused with cold sores, but they are two different oral conditions.
One of the most recurrent causes of ulcers or oral sores is the use of braces. The devices that are attached to the teeth, maintain a constant contact with the inner surface of the lips and cheeks. So, when moving the mouth, the brackets rub against the inside of the mouth and can cause the formation of ulcers.
Vitamin C deficiency can delay the healing process of the wound, contributing to the prevalence of canker sores. The lack of iron, vitamin B12 and zinc are also linked to the formation of ulcers. Similarly, acidic foods also contribute to their appearance.
An allergic reaction of the immune system in response to chemical and biological agents can initiate the formation of an ulcer, as well as the use of certain drugs.
In general, the sores do not require any type of treatment and usually disappear spontaneously. Even so, rinsing with special mouthwashes or with water with salt can favor their healing, as well as the application of a cotton bud moistened with a mixture in equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. On some occasions, it is necessary to resort to drug treatments.
Depending on the type of cause that has caused the sores or ulcers in each case, there are different corresponding treatments, such as avoiding acidic or spicy foods, even those with sharp edges, in order to prevent hurting the sores and causing more pain and inflammation.
Another recommended remedy is rinsing the mouth with chamomile tea, or the application of aloe, since these plants have been known to have soothing properties, allowing the sores to heal more rapidly and with lower pain levels.
Users of brackets must ask the dentist for wax in order to cover the sharp parts that cause the ulcers and thus minimize the abrasion of the metal in the mouth.
Following a proper diet, taking care of oral hygiene and reducing stress, are key factors to prevent the appearance of canker sores or to favor their healing in case they have already appeared.