Kanker sores, the bane of mouths everywhere! Incredibly painful and sensitive to touch, these little ulcers can cause incredible amounts of pain and irritation. While benign (non-cancerous), they are a common form of oral ulcer occurring in women more often than men. They can occur in life at any age, but are likely to happen between the ages of 10 and 40.
Kanker sores have a variety of known causes and can even seemingly be brought on with no cause at all. Some typical causes include: immune deficiencies, dietary deficiencies, hormonal changes, food allergies,oral injury (such as biting of the tongue or cheek) and even emotional stress! They most commonly appear on the inner surface of the lips, tongue, cheeks, soft palate and gum line.
Symptoms usually begin with a tingling or burning sensation that will typically manifest into the following: Sensitive and painful red bump that gradually turns into an open ulcer. The center is generally white though it may on occasion be yellow. Are typically small, though larger ones may present occasionally. Can rarely be accompanied by fever and swollen lymph nodes.
Pain typically lasts 7-10 days with pain decreasing gradually. Full healing generally takes 1-3 weeks. Larger ulcers may take significantly longer to heal (2-4 weeks). Unfortunately once you have a kanker sore you're likely to get them again in the future.
Kanker sores are not the same as cold sores. Kanker sores are ulcers and are not contagious - only appearing inside the mouth. Cold Sores are small red blisters which usually affect the mouth and facial areas (but usually on the outer edge of the lips) and are a highly contagious form of Herpes Simplex virus. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference - if in doubt, treat it like a cold sore.
There are two approaches to treating a kanker sore: Speeding up the healing process and treating the pain.
Speeding up the healing process - First avoid eating hot or spicy foods. These will only irritate the kanker sore and cause you more pain. Sometimes a MILD mouthwash or warm salt water will help. In addition, mix a batch of 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 water and apply it directly to the kanker sore.
If that doesn't help - get some Milk of Magnesia and dab a small amount directly to the kanker sore 3-4 times a day. Others have also mentioned trying a mixture of 1/2 Milk of Magnesia and 1/2 Benedryl and swishing it around in your mouth and over the kanker sore then spitting it out.
More severe cases may warrant special mouthwashes or even an anti-inflammatory. If in doubt, always consult a doctor.
Pain relief - There are a number of over the counter kanker sore relief products to choose from. They typically come in 2 varieties: gels and discs. Most have some form of topical anesthetic and aid in pain relief both by virtue of the medication and covering of the kanker sore itself.
For many, kanker sores are a fact of life - however, with the right kanker sore remedy and pain reliever you shouldn't have to suffer from one any longer than neccessary. As kanker sores can take some time to heal don't wait on seeking pain relief!