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What can cause throat canker sores and how to cure them

A throat canker sore consists of a small, round, whitish wound in the center, reddish on the outside, which causes pain and discomfort, especially when swallowing or speaking. In some cases there can be other symptoms present such as fever, malaise and enlargement of the neck ganglia.

This type of canker sore may arise after ingesting acidic food or can be the first sign of a weakened immune system, and may therefore appear when you have herpes after a cold. When canker sores are very big and take a long time to heal they can indicate the presence of a more serious disease such as AIDS or cancer.

The doctor may prescribe ointments for treating throat canker sores and suggest you avoid consuming acidic foods, for example. Another suggestion is to gargle warm water and salt which may relieve discomfort.

What a throat canker sore looks like
What a throat canker sore looks like

Main causes for throat canker sores

The appearance of throat canker sores may be caused by:

  • Weakened of the immune system, especially if your have herpes, because the virus may have infected the lining of the mouth and throat;
  • Consuming acidic foods, such as pineapple, tomato or pepper;
  • Stomach problems like reflux;
  • Lack of B-complex vitamins, folic acid or minerals, like iron can also be causes for throat canker sores.

If the problem arises more than once a month or less than 1 week apart, it is recommended you see a general practitioner so he can ask for blood tests that can help identify the disease that may be causing the problem. After the diagnosis is reached appropriate treatment is initiated, which can help in avoiding the appearance of the disease again.

Other situations that may cause small throat ulcers are tonsil stones, tonsillitis, and aphthous stomatitis, which are more common in infants.

Medication options for treating canker sores

The treatment for throat canker sores can be done with topical corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory ointments such as Omcilon-A or Gingilone or with topical anesthetic ointments such as Xylocaine Ointment 5%, prescribed by a physician, they may be applied with a finger or with the help of a cotton swab.

Other medicines that can be used to relieve pain provoked by the canker sores are Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, for example. However, its use should also be guided by a doctor. If the throat canker sore is greater than 1 cm in diameter CO2 laser and Nd: YAG can be used, these lasers can also be used to treat recurrent canker sores that arise in the throat, which make it difficult to hydrate and feed. The procedure should be done at a medical clinic.

See a more complete list of the main medications used to treat canker sores.

What to do to treat canker sores fast

To help heal throat canker sores, some cautions should be taken that include:

  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, it can help to eliminate bacteria and cleanse the area;
  • Avoid eating acidic foods like lemon, pineapple, tomato, kiwi and orange, as the acidity increases pain;
  • Increase intake of foods rich in B complex vitamins, folic acid and iron such as banana, mango, low-fat yogurt or apple juice, because the lack of these vitamins can cause canker sores;
  • Warm water and salt gargle or hydrogen peroxide diluted in water gargle, as they are antiseptic, leaving the region clean. To prepare the gargle, simply add 1 tablespoon of salt into 1 cup of warm water or 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide 10 volumes in 1 glass of water.
  • Avoid worsening the lesions in the mouth, to do so you should avoid eating hard foods such as toast, peanuts, nuts;
  • Use a soft toothbrush;
  • Avoid oral hygiene products containing sodium lauryl sulfate.

If you follow treatment correctly and have these cautions at mind, the canker sores tend to disappear naturally within a few days.

When to go to the doctor

When canker sores are very frequent appearing more than 6 times a year, its causes should be investigated and observe if there are other symptoms at the same time and go to the doctor. If the doctor has questions about what is causing the canker sore, he may request:

  • Complete blood count with HSV count;
  • Iron, ferritin and iron uptake, vitamin B12;
  • Anti-HIV, viral cultures and biopsy.

However, there is usually no need to request these exams and they are usually done when the cases are difficult to control.

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