Cold sores inside your mouth or on your tongue are actually called canker sores. They are shaped like small craters with a red outline and a white or yellow center. Known to be quite painful, canker sores may make it difficult for the sufferer to eat or talk. They also take at least seven days to heal completely, sometimes weeks. The only good thing about canker sores is that, unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious.
Causes of Canker Sores
No one is sure why some people are prone to canker sores and others aren't. The tendency to develop canker sores seems to be genetic, and women, teenagers and young adults are more likely to get them than men. Those who are prone to canker sores notice them developing most often when experiencing abnormal amounts of stress, when eating or drinking acidic foods, after biting the inside of their mouths or while they are wearing braces. Some women experience canker sores during their menstrual cycle.
Methods of Healing for Canker Sores
Canker sores on the tongue cannot be cured; however, applying an all-natural canker sore medication will help speed healing. Consider products made by Orabase, Anbesol or OraMD, and apply them three to four times a day, or as often as the packaging indicates. Cankermelts Medicated Discs use licorice root to help the sores heal, and they give you a break from the pain without numbing the area like the other products mentioned. You can also rinse your mouth with 1 tsp. of salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water. Just swish it around in your mouth before spitting it into the bathroom sink.
Pain Relief of Canker Sores
To avoid the pain caused when liquid or solid foods touch the canker sores, eat soft, bland, small-sized or pureed foods. Don't eat or drink chocolate, spicy or salty foods, citrus fruits or juices, nuts, seeds, tomatoes and coffee. Use a straw when you drink so that the liquid doesn't have to pass over your tongue and irritate the sore. Numb canker sores on your tongue with ice for temporary relief. Finally, take a pain reliever such as Bayer, Advil or Aleve.
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is added to products to make them thick and to produce lather. Some suspect that the SLS in toothpaste removes the protective film inside your mouth called mucin, making your mouth more inclined to break out into cold sores. Choose toothpaste without SLS to keep the barrier of your mucin a strong threshold against bacteria.