What is it?
Aphthae, also known as mouth sores or canker sores, colloquially, is a common condition that can affect many people at some point in their lives. These sores may appear in the soft tissues of your mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth.
Sometimes in severe cases, eating becomes next to impossible and whatever little you try to ingest goes down very painfully..
The lesions can appear inside the oral mucosa or on the entire surface of the tongue. Mouth sores can affect all people, of all ages, both male and female.
Canker sores are not contagious, and they should not be confused with herpetic stomatitis. This, in fact, is highly contagious, and is spread by direct contact with infected oral secretions and lesions.
From a morphological point of view, canker sores have a rounded shape associated with a yellowish-white color, surrounded by a red border.
A few days after onset, they can break and be extremely painful.
There are many predisposing causes for the onset of canker sores:
- Genetic predisposition and family history;
- Hormonal changes typical of the premenstrual period in women;
- Traumatic damage to the oral cavity such as violently brushing the teeth or frequently biting the tongue;
- Lack of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals;
- Poor oral hygiene Stress;
- A diet rich in alcohol, spicy and fatty foods and acidifying foods.
The symptoms associated with the onset of canker sores are different, but very characteristic:
- Tingling of the tongue;
- Burning spread throughout the oral cavity;
- Widespread itching throughout the oral cavity;
- Formation of vesicles, edematous and painful lesions;
- Fever or swollen lymph nodes in severe cases
- Swalling difficulties
- Chronic inflammation of the tongue or glossitis.
Aphthae can usually be diagnosed with a simple visual examination. Only in cases where more serious symptoms may occur, such as fever or swollen lymph nodes, can the specialist combine more specific tests, such as biopsy or blood tests for viruses.
The persistence of the lesions in the oral cavity lasts for a few days, in the most critical cases it can extend to a few weeks.
To limit inflammation and pain, you can use sprays or gels with an emollient, soothing and healing action, excellent are those based on hyaluronic acid or aloe vera.
In severe cases, where there is also the onset of high fever and swollen lymph nodes, drug therapy with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cortisones is performed.
- It is necessary to use non-aggressive mouthwashes, rich in soothing herbs and without alcohol;
- Garlic has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action, you can rub a prominence on the injured moss;
- Green tea has soothing actions, you can rub a wet filter, at the level of the inflamed mucosa;
- The pink Himalayan salt has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action, it can be used for gargling;
- Coconut oil has lubricating and soothing actions;
- Aloe has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, is rich in amino acids and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C, which allow healing and reduce pain;
- An infusion based on mallow, sage and lemon, to be used to rinse the mouth. Products with soothing and anti-inflammatory action.
- Bicarbonate has a strong disinfectant action and neutralizes the acidity of the oral cavity. A spoonful of baking soda can be used, dissolved in water and used for gargle.
Diet as a prevention of canker sores must aim to defend the body from stress, strengthen the immune defenses and the well-being of the intestine.
Here are a series of dietary tips that can help healing or prevent the development of canker sores:
- Avoid eating very spicy foods;
- Avoid eating highly acidic foods such as fatty meats, meats, eggs, cheeses, baked goods and pastries, tomatoes, citrus fruits, vinegar, coffee, chocolate, fried foods, alcohol, beer, dairy products, and sodas.
- Eat tender foods that are easily swallowed;
- Avoid ingestion of solid foods that are corrosive to the oral mucosa;
- It is important to take foods with a probiotic function, in order to avoid dysbiosis phenomena;
- It is important to eat foods rich in vitamin B12, with a regenerating action for the oral mucosa. The richest foods are meat, fish, chicken, eggs, asparagus, spinach, beans, lentils and chickpeas;
- Detoxifying foods such as fruit and vegetables;
- Whole grains with soothing action for the intestinal mucosa;
- In case of severe inflammation of the lesions, attention must be paid to the temperature and consistency of the food. So blended, centrifuged and not too hot foods.
- To prevent inflammation of the oral mucosa it is important to maintain good hydration, so it is essential to drink 1-2 liters of water a day.