It has happened to all of us at some point in our lives… one (best case scenario) or several cold sores appear on the oral mucosa, which causes us so much discomfort that it affects the quality of our life, preventing us from eating or talking normally.
What are mouth or cold sores?
Sores are wounds that appear in the mucosa of the mouth, in any location. They are sores with different shapes and sizes, and can appear alone or in groups.
There are different types of sores. Minor aphthae make up 80% of what we find and will heal alone in a few days. If they are larger than 1 cm, they are called major aphthae, and they can even leave a scar. In addition, we have herpetiform sores, with numerous ulcers of small size, which take more than a week to disappear.
Why do they appear?
The cause of their appearance is unknown, but there are some factors that are related to its appearance:
- Infections: An banal viral infection, or a reaction to common bacteria of the oral mucosa can cause its appearance.
- Trauma: A blow to the mouth, biting the mucus or rubbing the orthodontics and very aggressive dental cleaning can all make it appear.
- Recurrent aphthous stomatitis: It is a disease that affects many children and some adults, where aphthae appear recurrently, without knowing the reason. Although, it is believed that there may be a genetic predisposition.
- Stress: We find many cases in which stressful situations such as exams, work, trips… predispose us to suffer from mouth sores.
- Bad nutritional habits: The deficits of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12 can facilitate its appearance.
- There are certain foods such as nuts, lemon, strawberries or chocolate that can trigger allergies or hypersensitivities that promote canker sores.
And what do we do with the sores?
The great majority of sores have no importance and they heal themselves, but some measures can be taken to accelerate the process:
- Avoid foods with condiments and decrease your intake of acidic foods.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene.
- There are preparations based on hyaluronic acid and other components that help create a protective layer and improve symptoms.
If within a week the symptoms still persist, it is recommended to go to a doctor because other therapeutic measures may be necessary.
*Content validated by the mediQuo medical team.