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Canker Sores

Canker SoresMy son has frequent canker sores in his mouth, and they heal very slowly. What can I do to prevent them from developing?

Doctor’s Advice:

It is quite common for both children and adults to have canker sores, cold sores, or fever sores, as they be called, particularly around the mouth and nose. Infections associated with fever, as well as contact with substances that tend to irritate the tender tissues of the mouth may bring on the sore. Eating nuts may produce them. Occasionally they occur after sunburn or a cold.

These ulcers are caused by a very small germ called a virus and are more common after conditions that lower general body resistance. This particular virus  is widespread in its distribution, and everyone has the virus in his mouth constantly, but no difficulty develops unless the resistance is lowered or the tender tissues of the mouth are injured.

Applying a soothing cream commonly will decrease the amount of soreness and possibly hasten healing. Touching them with five per cent silver nitrate solution and using a mouthwash may be helpful in relieving the pain. Unfortunately, specific medicines or treatments have not yet been developed that will cure or prevent these troublesome ulcers. When the sores occur, the family physician can often make suggestions that will decrease their occurrence. Maintaining a good mouth hygiene and body cleanliness, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding irritating substances are the best preventive measures.



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