A canker sore is an open ulcer or sore found in the mouth and is often accompanied by severe pain, though it isn't contagious. Sometimes a canker sore may also be found inside a person's lip or their cheek. This helpful guide will give you some signs and symptoms to look for if you or someone you know might have a canker sore. These tips and tricks can also help differentiate between a canker sore and a cold sore so you can seek different treatment options or home remedies depending on what you might be experiencing.
Tingling Or Burning Sensation
A canker sore often looks like a white or yellow oval in an individual's mouth, though sometimes these sores can be seen on the lips. Along with the visual signs, you may also experience a tingling or burning sensation. For some individuals with canker sores, this tingling or burning sensation occurs after eating or drinking food. Even though this may be uncomfortable, it is important to note the sores often go away within one to three weeks. Serious sores may require more time to heal and, in some severe cases, may require medical attention. It is always important to consult a doctor if you feel any swelling in your tongue or throat.
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Sores Inside Mouth
If you have sores inside the mouth, you might have a canker sore, which will look like a white or yellow oval. This can appear inside your mouth whether it be your tongue, inner cheek, or some other area. Around the oval, you may find some redness or inflammation of any nearby soft tissue. You should be aware to not confuse the appearance of a canker sore with the appearance of a cold sore. Cold sores, which are caused by a strain of herpes and look more like blisters, and can be contagious. Canker sores are not contagious and occur for other reasons.
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When you have severe inflammation, you may also experience having a fever, and this can occur when you have a canker sore. In some cases, your fever indicates you have a severe infection, and it may be time to seek immediate medical attention. If you experience a rise in temperature or feel disoriented, consult a doctor or medical professional. Home treatments may not work, and it may be time to rule out a more severe bacterial infection or another more severe issue. It is important to monitor how you are feeling while you are experiencing a canker sore in the event your condition becomes more serious.
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Your canker sore may cause you to feel severe discomfort and may prevent you from feeling well in general. You may feel sluggish and like you do not want to do everyday tasks. Feeling feverish, the symptom mentioned previously, can also result in the patient feeling abnormally tired. Feeling sluggish, fatigued, and generally unwell when it comes to a canker sore is very similar to when individuals are fighting off any kind of virus or infection. This is, after all, what a canker sore is, and as such, the immune system is directing the body’s energy to fight the invader.
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Difficulty Talking Or Eating
For some individuals, the pain of their canker sore, particularly when it progresses beyond the initial tingling and burning sensations, may prevent them from eating or drinking. It often occurs because the area is inflamed, so elements like pressure or texture can aggravate the inflammation. Spicy and salty foods are the two most popular triggers for additional pain and are the hardest to consume, so try to avoid these foods when affected by a canker sore. While it may be painful, it is important to eat and drink like normal, so your body can have the nutrients and hydration required to heal the canker sore. Turn to softer foods and bland choices, in the beginning, to avoid unnecessarily aggravating the canker sore. Work to figure out what foods you can tolerate without much pain and stick to those. Smoothies (without acidic fruits) can be wonderful for getting lots of nutrients.
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Swollen Lymph Nodes
The inflammation from your canker sore can begin to cause swelling in your lymph nodes, mouth, tongue, or throat. If swollen lymph nodes are causing you severe discomfort or are making it challenging to breathe, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Swollen lymph nodes that persist for an abnormal length of time can also be indicative of other health issues. It is important to monitor your canker sore and be on the lookout for any more severe symptoms that could arise from your condition. A sore that won't go away on its own after an extended period will require medical attention.