Canker sores are basically ulcers that occur inside the mouth and can be found both in the case of children and adults. These are not contagious and a day or two before they appear the patients feel burning or tingling sensation in that area of the mouth where this sore is developing. In rare cases these sores appear with fever or other symptoms but they are quite painful.
These sores appear inside the mouth and are of round or oval shape with red border and yellow centre. The areas in which they develop the most are:
- Surface of the tongue on the top or on the tip of the tongue.
- Under the tongue on the floor of mouth.
- Inside the cheek or inside the lip.
- On the gums.
Canker sores can be broadly classified into three categories according to the size or gravity. These categories are:
Minor sores: These are smaller sores on the size maximum up to ½ inch. Though painful but heal within 2 weeks.
Major sores: These are slightly larger than the minor sores and have irregular margins or are of odd shapes. These take more time to heal, in many cases after healing a small scar is left at the spot of growth.
The third is Herpeti form sores. These grow in clusters with tiny or smaller sores clustered together. These may take a month to heal fully.
The child experiences pain when eating, drinking or talking. The cause of the growth of canker sores is still not certain and treatment depends upon person to person and the gravity. Some researchers suggest that these could be due to injury caused to the tissues due to trauma or stress. Acidic food may also result in development of canker sores. These may also be associated with general health conditions, hygiene of the patient and nutritional deficiencies. If these reoccur again and again, the best option is to consult your dentist who will prescribe medicines so that the child is fit as fast as possible and is able to eat food properly.
It is said that prevention is always better than cure. To prevent development of this condition, reduce acidic contents in the food you eat. Reduce your stress level, try to be happy and above all improve your oral hygiene. Many over the counter medicines are available in stores for treatment of canker sores. You can consult the store keeper and buy some medicine in case the sore is mild. Read instructions and dosage properly before administering the medicine.
Some home remedies for cranker sores in children have been suggested by elderly people who have life long experience of bringing up kids. Some of these are:
- Frequently rinse your child’s mouth with aloe juice and apply a drop of juice on the affected part using a cotton bud.
- Twice a day put some alum on the sore. This will help in quick healing and the pain will also be reduced considerably.
- Baking soda can be applied on the affected part using a cotton bud. This will help reduce the bacteria level in the mouth and healing will be quicker. You can also make the paste of baking soda for easy application.
- Dissolve a pinch of baking soda in warm water and ask the child to rinse the mouth. This can be done after each meal.
- You can prepare your own mouthwash by mixing a few drops of grapefruit seed extract or hydrogen peroxide in water. This will work well.
- Onion is an excellent remedy for canker sores. Just rub onion on the effected part or apply a drop of onion juice on the sore. This will ensure quick healing.
- You can eat fresh papaya if available. Otherwise papaya tablets will also help.
- Apply a drop of glycerine on the sore. This will help reduce pain and quick healing.
- Tea tree oil, if available, can be applied. This is also a good remedy for canker sores.
- Eat food rich in Vitamin B. Leafy vegetables are a rich source of Vitamin B. Yogurt should also be a part of your meal. Avoid spicy food as it will cause irritation and pain.