Cancer Sores: Why and What to Do About Them!

 Canker Sores

"Ooouch!.. I can hardly move my tongue against my lip! " .. a common quotation from  patients with a canker sore.  They are whitish, round, crater shaped ulcers, inside your mouth, commonly on the side of  your tongue, or in the fold of  your  cheeks.


If  you or a friend  gets cancer sores,  you  know  they tend to come at the worst times: vacation, right before family pictures,  holidays,  stressful stretches when you  least need a another problem.  These are different than the ulcers one gets

What to do?

So, the first thing to do is look at your diet lately - HAVE YOU BEEN EATING TOO MANY ACIDIC FOODS?


If it's something you can change, then get on it! If it's something you can't change - Silence the little voice by being mindful of this "head talk". Change the tape to include the things you can take action on.

Dr. Chuck once had a canker sore the size of a quarter on his tongue when my father was in the last stages of cancer, and he complained about it ten times a day. I finally reminded him that we can prescribe a fantastic ointment that you can put on the sore every 4 hours or so. It really takes the edge off the pain. "Oh, yes!" he said. We got him the medicine and he thought it was a miracle.

If you get one of the large canker sores, please call us!

Even though there is no way to say for sure what causes these painful little sores, they usually disappear in about 7 - 10 days. (Sorry - there is no medicine that I can give you to rush that!)

HERE'S MORE DETAILS:  Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are small sore that form inside of the mouth. Early symptoms of developing a canker sore could be a small bump or red spot that produces a slight burning or tingling sensation. Canker sores commonly appear inside the cheeks, lips, on or under the tongue, the roof of the mouth and on the gums. They are usually white, yellow or light gray and sometimes have a small red border surrounding them.

Again, canker sores are not the same as "cold sores". Cold sores usually form on the outside of the mouth around and on the lips and not on the inside of the mouth. They come from an exposure to the oral herpes virus.

**Canker sores are not contagious, whereas cold sores are highly contagious.

While no one knows for certain what causes canker sores, some researchers believe that the following could play a role in developing canker sores:

·         Genetics

·         Fatigue

·         Stress

·         Poor Immune System

·         Undergoing Chemotherapy

·         A sharp tooth rubbing against the cheek

·         A dental or orthodontic appliance rubbing against the cheek

·         Nutritional problems or deficiencies

·         Menstrual periods

·         Food allergies


Different treatments may work better for some people than others. If you get a canker sore, you might want to try several of these treatments to see which one best relieves your discomfort:

·         Dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water. Use a Q-tip® to dab mixture on the canker sore. Next, dab a little milk of magnesia with a Q-tip® onto the sore. Repeat two or three times a day. While this remedy is very soothing, some research suggests that this treatment could possibly speed up the healing process of canker sores.

·         Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash such as Crest Pro Health® or Listerine®.

·         Use Tylenol® or Ibuprofen for pain relief.

·         Avoid hot and spicy foods and foods with sharp crunchy edges, such as nacho chips, which can poke into the canker sore. (Ouch).

·         Avoid acidic foods or beverages such as orange juice. Anything acidic produces a burning sensation when it comes into contact with the sore. Trust me on this one.

·         Let ice chips melt on the canker sore. This might help the discomfort a little.

Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy develop a lot of canker sores. If this is the case with you or someone you know, your doctor or dentist can give you a prescription for a mouth rinse that might help more than over the counter products. The prescription mouth rinse called Duke's Magic Mouthwash® worked the best for relieving their canker sore pain.

*** If a canker sore lasts more than two weeks, you should see your Dentist***