Canker sore (tongue, mouth): causes, home remedy and treatments

A small burning sensation appears on the tip of the tongue. Or on the cheek. Or, even, in a region that is difficult to see.

No matter exactly where, when thrush appears, they are uncomfortable, burning, painful and make it very simple to eat: eating.

There are those who almost never have a cold sore, but there are people who suffer from this discomfort on a recurring basis.

Although they are quite unpleasant, they usually do not indicate any serious condition.

But, on average, everyone will suffer from at least 1 or 2 thrush in their lifetime.


What are thrush?

Canker sores are small sores that appear in the oral cavity, also called “oral ulcer”, “foot and mouth ulcer” or “ foot-and- mouth disease”.

Considered benign lesions, they are one of the most frequent oral changes in the population, but, in general, do not represent greater risks or complications besides the discomfort to chew or speak.

Canker sores are characterized by small, round, whitish bruises, with very red edges or outline.

It is not known exactly what causes a cold sore to appear, but it is considered to be an immune response, a reaction to food or an inflammation resulting from some small pre-existing lesion.

Since there are people who often have these small wounds, it is possible that factors such as stress , sensitivity to certain foods and other habits (such as smoking ) can trigger inflammation. Therefore, they are manifestations of our own body and are not contagious.

Most people have small, isolated thrush, but they can appear in larger sizes, over 1 cm, or appear in large quantities, reaching more than 100 throughout the mouth.

Noticing one or another cold sore over the months can be just an uncomfortable situation and without much need for concern. But when they are recurrent, long-lasting or compromise well-being, it is necessary to investigate the causes and seek measures to alleviate the discomfort and decrease the incidence.

What are the types of cold sore?

Canker sores can be classified according to their manifestation, which is divided, in general, into 3 groups or types: minor , major and herpetiformes (grouped) . Know a little about each one:

Afta minor

Those isolated and small wounds that appear in some corner of the mouth (tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, mucosa of the cheek and throat), with a maximum of 8mm are the most frequent types. These are called minor canker sores and tend to heal between 6 and 15 days.

This type can still be called, clinically, as Mikulicz and Kümmel’s cold sore.

Afta major

The most extensive wounds, about 1 cm, are called major canker sores or, when intense and frequent, recurrent necrotic mucous periadenitis .

The condition is less frequent and affects about 10% of patients with thrush. But, as the wound length is longer, the recovery time can be longer and result in scarring at the site.

Like minor canker sores, the entire oral cavity, including the roof of the mouth, tongue and throat, can be affected, but usually it presents itself in isolation. That is, only a large canker sore develops in the mouth, in contrast to smaller canker sores that can appear 2 times or more in most cases.

Herpetiformes (grouped)

There are also the so-called grouped or herpetiform thrush, which are characterized by an intense manifestation of the lesions. Usually, they are small wounds, with 3mm, but that appear in great quantity spread or concentrated in some point of the mouth.

They are much less frequent, representing between 5% and 10% of cases, and may indicate other diseases or dysfunctions of the organism.

The name refers to the herpes disease, but it is important to note that, clinically, there is no approximation between the conditions.

These are lesions that can be quite similar and even cause some confusion at first, but herpes affects the lips, while thrush affects the oral mucosa. Therefore, a trained professional will know how to quickly differentiate situations.

In which part of the mouth can thrush occur?

Canker sores can appear everywhere in the mouth. In fact, they can occur simultaneously in several regions. Like:

Canker sore

Canker sores on the tongue can appear and cause a lot of discomfort, especially when the region is close to the teeth. In this case, the wound may suffer from friction with the gap of the teeth, causing more pain or discomfort.

Canker sore in the roof of the mouth

Canker sores in the roof of the mouth are usually quite painful due to the sensitivity of the region.

In addition, when eating, it is common for food to cause friction on the spot while chewing, which increases the sensation of pain.

Cold sore on the cheek

Cheeks are also affected by thrush. One of the special precautions that must be taken is regarding the bite. As the affected site is very sensitive and the surface may be altered, it is easier to bite the site unintentionally.

Canker sores

The gums are quite sensitive regions as well. Therefore, canker sores tend to be painful when they appear in the region. The care during brushing is very important, avoiding friction of the brush.

What causes cold sore in the mouth: how does it arise?

These small – and uncomfortable – oral ulcers begin with a small bruise on the surface layer of the mucosa (epithelial tissue) of the mouth. It lines the oral cavity and protects connective tissue receptors (which is just below the epithelial and is very sensitive – that’s why thrush stings and hurts so much).

This injury can be initiated by nutritional deficiencies, reduced immunity, gastric changes that increase acidity in the oral region or injuries that develop into thrush.

Whether because of a traumatic rupture (for example, a hit with the toothbrush) or a thinning of the mucosa (causing it to rupture), the connective tissue is exposed. That is, any contact in the region will cause pain, burning, irritation or even secondary infection by microorganisms.

As it is an injury, the body will try to heal it. For this, the lymphocytes (or white blood cells) come into action and accumulate in the region to promote the recovery of the small area.

On the one hand, this is very good, as the body is working to heal the wound.

On the other hand, the concentration of defense cells causes local inflammation, resulting in that whitish lesion with red edges. In other words, you can already see (and feel) the cold sore.

But it is worth remembering that the mouth is inhabited by several bacteria and that they are usually attracted to the wound, which can worsen the inflammatory state of the cold sore and intensifying the pain and burning.

Now it remains to wait for the cells to take care of the bacteria and the healing of the rupture.

What causes canker sores in the mouth?

It is not yet possible to state the real cause of the cold sore or why it appears more frequently in some people. In general, it is indicated that there are multifactorial causes that favor the appearance of lesions in the mouth, such as autoimmune changes, injuries, predisposition, gastric changes or emotional conditions.

When they arise in an isolated and punctual manner, there is no great need to investigate the causes of cold sore. But if they are recurrent or lasting, help should be sought for the problem that may be related to the habits or changes in the body.

Know some of the probable causes of thrush:

Traumas or injuries

Hitting your gums with a toothbrush, flossing incorrectly or biting your cheek can be one of the triggering factors of cold sore.

People who use orthodontic braces, prostheses or dentures and usually have lesions on the cheek or gums may have a higher incidence of cold sore.

Strong or hard foods

Foods that are too hard or difficult to chew, such as peanuts or popcorn, can attack the gums and favor the thinning of epithelial tissue, or even the popcorn shells can cause microlesions in the mucosa.

Spicy or very strong foods, on the other hand, can irritate the epithelial tissue, weakening it. If it is something more acidic, like vinegar, the pH of the mouth can be affected and cause injuries due to acid imbalance in the region.

Oral care products

Maintaining the correct cleaning and hygiene of the mouth is essential, including being able to reduce the risks of cold sore or improve recovery.

But sometimes, the chosen products can be the source of the ulcers. In general, alcohol mouthwashes tend to be irritating to the mucosa and cause burning and fragility of the epithelial tissue.

Among the components that most cause oral irritations is sodium lauryl sulfate (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which acts as a very cheap disinfectant (therefore, advantageous for the industry).

Its function is to help clean the teeth and mouth, but in return there are several risks associated with it.

In hygiene products, the amount of sodium lauryl sulfate is very small and controlled, being considered safe by health regulatory agencies. Even so, cases of irritation, allergy and degradation of the skin and mucous tissues are strongly associated with its use.

Dropped immunity

Any condition that causes a fall in the body’s defense system can be the triggering factor for a cold sore.

In this group, a series of conditions can be encompassed, such as diseases that weaken the organism, use of medications such as corticosteroids, chronic diseases, stress and poor diet.


It is possible that people with infectious agents (viruses and bacteria, for example) are more susceptible to developing thrush.

In this case, the condition is still likely to be multifactorial, also due to reduced immunity.

However, Streptococcus- type bacteria (which causes sinusitis , for example) and cytomegalovirus-type viruses (which causes chickenpox and herpes, for example), Epstein-Barr (which causes mononucleosis) and varicella zoster (which causes chickenpox) are more associated. to thrush.


It is not known exactly which mechanism relates stress to thrush. However, it is possible for pre-disposed people to suffer from mouth ulcers when they experience stressful situations or are emotionally shaken.

Bad eating habits

You may not be eating any food that is too hard or too bad to chew, but if your meals are nutritionally poor, this could be the reason for thrush.

The deficiencies of folic acid , iron, selenium, zinc and vitamins of the B complex are the most related to mouth ulcers.

Again, thrush is usually multifactorial and the causes add up. Therefore, when you eat poorly, the body lacks nutrients that can favor the appearance of a small ulcer.

However, along with this, immunity also low, the organism is weakened and the chances of the injury appear are greater.


Among the possible causes of the incidence of thrush is genetic inheritance. Thus, in addition to food and routine care, it is possible that there are people more predisposed to suffer from mouth sores, either in frequency or in intensity.

That is, constant injuries with no apparent cause or injuries that almost never manifest themselves, but when they occur they are intense, large or long-lasting.

Gastric changes

Punctual or prolonged changes in the pH (acidity) of the stomach can facilitate the appearance of thrush.

Among the causes of the occasional changes are very acidic food and the use of non-continuous medications.

Among the prolonged dysfunctions, there may be reflux, gastritis , the use of continuous medications or the overuse of antacids.

In the case of refluxes, the acidity of the gastric juice returns to the mouth and affects the mucous membranes. As the region is sensitive, even small amounts of gastric acid can cause severe irritation and result in constant thrush.

Allergic reactions

Called allergic thrush, mouth ulcers can result from exaggerated immune responses, that is, allergies.

They can occur when the person already has some known sensitivity (be it to foods or chemicals) or when allergies occur with no known cause.

This type of cold sore is quite common in patients with food intolerance or sensitivity, for example gluten , milk, chestnuts and shrimp, who can manifest different reactions when coming into contact with food.


Any medication that causes allergic reactions can have, among the adverse effects, the development of thrush. However, the most common are anti-inflammatories, rapamycin, methotrexate , aspirin and atenolol .

Medicines that interfere with stomach pH can cause cold sore, as they alter the acidity of the stomach (including antacids used continuously).

In addition, drugs that affect immunity, such as corticosteroids, can also have an indirect impact, increasing the risks of ulcers.

It is necessary to inform your doctor when symptoms or adverse reactions arise with the use of medications. Also, never interrupt treatment. Talk to the professional so that the best options are evaluated.

Risk factors and groups for developing cold sore

Some factors can favor the onset of thrush on a frequent or punctual basis.

In addition to genetic predisposition, people with food allergies and intolerances may suffer more frequently from wounds when they come into contact with allergenic foods.

Other factors that affect the appearance of injuries are:

  • Patients with low immunity, for example with HIV or chronic patients;
  • People with stressful routines;
  • Smoking;
  • Bad eating habits;
  • Use of drugs that affect stomach pH;
  • People with braces, prostheses or dentures.

Men and women can be affected by thrush, but due to hormonal changes in the menstrual period, women may experience more frequent manifestations of the lesions.

Signs and symptoms: how to identify a cold sore?

Identifying a cold sore is not difficult, but they are not always in places that are easy to see.

The vast majority of cases are minor (minor) canker sores and have a rounded or oval shape, between 2mm and 8mm, with reddish edges and a whitish or slightly yellowish center.

When the wounds are a little bigger (close to 8mm or passing to a major cold sore), it is possible to notice a crater aspect in its core (along with the whiter surface).

In general, these mouth ulcers do not manifest symptoms other than burning, pain and discomfort. The person may experience constant burning or only when eating foods that intensify local irritation.

The area around the wound may be swollen, especially if it is located in the softer tissue, such as the tongue, the inner part of the cheek and gums.

As the cold sore is a wound, it is possible that there will be small bleeds, but almost never noticeable.

Because it is a very sensitive lesion, there is discomfort and sensitivity when eating and chewing, which can cause changes in taste and chewing difficulties.

In young children or babies, irritation, crying and refusal to eat can arise.

Although quite rare, fever , swollen lymph nodes (forming the tongue) and increased fatigue or tiredness can manifest .

Diagnosis: how to know if it is a cold sore?

As canker sores are usually responses to changes in the body or routines, but without major impact on the health and functioning of the body, they tend not to need a medical evaluation.

Small mouth ulcers, when they appear in isolation and without recurrence, usually progress well for recovery and, in a few days, are completely healed.

However, in constant or persistent cases, medical diagnosis is necessary .

Usually, the evaluation of a professional dentist, general practitioner or gastroenterologist is of utmost importance to rule out other possibilities, as canker sores can appear as a symptom due to other diseases or conditions.

To assess the patient, the doctor can observe the lesions and record the size and quantity of the lesions.

In general, those who seek care because of thrush are because they have been suffering with a certain regularity with the problem.

Therefore, the doctor will make a survey of the patient’s history, asked about the average duration of each new injury and if the patient knows about the existence of other pre-existing diseases.

Habits can also be assessed, for example, food or oral hygiene routine.

If necessary, the doctor may order tests to assess the lesion, but these are usually ordered when there are suspicions that thrush is an indication of other illnesses.

Differential diagnosis

If canker sores are constant and prolonged, medical research can aim to rule out health problems and changes that can result in mouth ulcers as a symptom. Between them:

  • AIDS : AIDS patients may have several ulcerations in the tissues, including the oral cavity;
  • Neurophilic disorders : the reduction in the rate of white blood cells (neutrophils) is usually a symptom of some other condition (such as chemotherapy or diseases that reduce immunity);
  • Behçet’s disease : patients usually have multiple canker sores accompanied by lesions in the genital region and in the eyes as well.
  • Crohn’s disease : patients may develop thrush together with symptoms of diarrhea, cramps and intestinal changes;
  • Celiac disease : changes in immunity, anemia and gastrointestinal symptoms may also occur;
  • Herpes simplex : although not always very similar, sores in the mouth can cause confusion in the patient;
  • Erythema multiforme : usually associated with infections, erythema can cause lesions on the skin and the oral region;
  • Leukoplakia : characterized by whitish plaques that appear on the tongue, the conditions can be confused if the patient is unable to observe the lesion site;
  • Candidiasis : yeast infection is quite common in children and people with low immunity, and may manifest ulcers in the oral and genital mucous membranes;
  • Pemphigus vulgaris : the condition can manifest lesions very similar to canker sores, but usually accompanied by other intense sores in the mouth;
  • Oral cancer : can resemble thrush, are usually persistent wounds, which do not heal or improve.

But it is worth emphasizing that only a health professional can make the diagnosis and identify the need for tests. Many patients, even with prolonged or recurrent injuries, suffer only with common thrush, without posing greater health risks.

Is there a test for thrush?

Yes. If there is a suspicion of a disease or condition related to cold sore, the doctor may order tests to proceed with the diagnosis.

In general, identifying the presence of infectious agents and assessing the health of the body as a whole is the first step in starting the diagnosis. With the need for further investigations or confirmations, specific tests can be ordered as well.

Among the first tests that can be recommended for people with frequent thrush are:


Biopsies are usually requested to rule out the possibility of cancer . When the lesions are persistent and show no improvement, it is necessary to investigate whether there are cellular changes in the region.

In general, the procedure can be done in hospitals or clinics, depending on the location of the injury. With the application of local anesthesia, a small sample of tissue is removed and sent for analysis.


Endoscopy is requested when there are suspicions that canker sores are caused by gastric disorders, such as high stomach acidity, reflux, gastritis or other changes.

The procedure can be done in hospitals or clinics, and general anesthesia is usually applied. In the examination, the professional will observe the mucous membranes and the general condition of the stomach, assessing possible changes.


Blood tests help detect different changes in the body. Although they are not always very specific for thrush (such as the  blood count ), the altered results can indicate nutritional deficiencies, elevated white blood cells, metabolic and hormonal dysfunctions.

Cell culture

Ideal for assessing whether thrush is being caused by a bacteria, virus, or other infectious agent. For this, a small tissue sample can be collected and sent for laboratory analysis.

Can you cure cold sore?

The injury,  yes . Ordinary canker sores, with no illnesses or conditions causing them, usually heal on their own within 15 days.

Some patients may have more lasting lesions, lasting up to a month, but they also resolve without further complications (sometimes scars may remain if the cold sore is very large).

People with recurrent thrush, but with no known primary disease, can use medications to assist in the recovery of the affected area, minimizing discomfort, pain and accelerating healing.

If thrush is a symptom, you need to investigate the cause and treat the root problem.

That is, cold sore lesions can be cured, usually spontaneously. But there are no treatments that completely eliminate the possibility of them occurring again.

What is good to cure cold sore in the mouth: how to treat?

Some tips on how to treat canker sores are very important to relieve discomfort and help the problem to heal more quickly.

If there is great discomfort, affecting the patient’s chewing and speech, the doctor may recommend the use of topical remedies, such as gels and ointments on the spot.

In general, medications help to reduce pain and inflammation through antibacterial, antiseptic and anesthetic action.

Patients with severe oral involvement, who have extensive, long-lasting wounds and which have a great impact on well-being, can be indicated for systemic treatment, that is, oral treatment with medications to reduce pain and inflammation.

But it is always important to emphasize that, often, medications confer side effects and their need must be assessed in each case by the doctor or dentist.

More recently, dental therapies offer an alternative to accelerate the recovery of thrush and relieve symptoms: they are laser therapies. But not all cold sores are treated with these measures, only when the case is aggressive and intense.

In these cases, the patient receives punctual applications of low-intensity therapeutic laser directly on the cold sore, causing the healing process to be accelerated.


The use of mouthwashes is common in the routine of hygiene of the teeth, but some can also help in the improvement of thrush.

It is important to note that there are products with alcohol or components that can irritate the region even more, so it is recommended that there is a recommendation from the health professional for the use to be made.

Among the options are Colgate PerioGard or Sensodyne without alcohol. In addition, it is possible to make mouthwashes with the chlorhexidine gluconate solution (if recommended by a doctor or dentist), in order to reduce pain.

As there is a wide variety of products, it is necessary that the doctor or dentist assist in the choice, also indicating the frequency of use.

Medicines: what are the remedies to treat cold sore?

Medicines for topical or systemic use can be prescribed to the patient, depending on the characteristics of the cold sore.

Hydrogen peroxide mouth rinses can also be indicated by a specialized professional, as the product assists in the cleaning of wounds or more superficial injuries, such as thrush.

It is worth remembering that medications are preferably used in cases where the lesions are extensive, long-lasting or recurrent, according to the guidance of the doctor or dentist.

Ointment for cold sore: what can you put in your mouth?

Canker sores, ointments and gels can act as an anesthetizer and reduce the inflammation of the area, being applied directly to the lesion according to medical advice. Among the most prescribed are:

  • Gingilone;
  • Ad-muc;
  • Aftine;
  • Colujet;
  • Mud Oral.

In addition, the doctor or dentist may prescribe benzocaine- based drugs , which serve as local anesthetics for topical use. That is, they are ointments that can be applied to cold sore and promote reduced sensitivity.

Pills to treat thrush: what are the remedies for oral use?

Among the oral medications to help with cold sore (with medical guidance) are:

  • Prednisone , which helps in reducing inflammation;
  • Thalidomide , which can be indicated in cases of severe persistent thrush.


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Do I need medicine for cold sore on my tongue or gums?

It depends. Usually, in a few days the cold sore heals alone. Some precautions, such as feeding and reducing friction on the spot, can make the wound easier to heal.

However, if the condition is frequent, intense or the pain is severe, it may be that the dentist or oral health professional recommends the use of some medication to relieve discomfort more quickly.

It is worth remembering that the use of medications does not prevent new thrush from arising, especially if there is any triggering factor that is not treated.

Home remedies: what is good to cure cold sore?

One must be cautious with homemade recipes for health care. Even if apparently natural or without risks to the organism, at times, treatments can worsen the cold sore and generate more pain and discomfort.

Remember that oral ulcers are very sensitive conditions and will acutely hurt if you use acidic products.

Therefore, those recipes with vinegar, alcohol and lemon can be contraindicated options if they are not used correctly.

But there are homemade options that can help in the healing and recovery of thrush more effectively. Check out:

Sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is a product widely used in recipes for health and aesthetics.

Although it can help in the recovery of thrush, its use should be done with caution, as many people tend to apply bicarbonate directly to the thrush, causing burning and burning of the place.

The ideal is to dilute a dessert spoon in half a glass of water, mix well and rinse.

Warm salt water

Many people use salt to improve canker sores, but just like baking soda, the product should be diluted in warm water. The mouthwash can be done with a spoon of salt to half a glass of warm water, twice a day, until the cold sore improves.


The plant has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, being a good option to relieve thrush. The ideal is to make a more concentrated infusion than you would normally do for a tea. After the liquid is warm, the mouthwash should be done.


Other plants that demonstrate properties capable of assisting in the healing of thrush are:

  • Mauve;
  • Black tea;
  • Witch hazel;
  • Rhubarb;
  • Sage;
  • Licorice;
  • Barbatimão.

Just like the chamomile solution, you can make an infusion more concentrated than a tea (put 2 or 3 spoons of each plant in half a glass of hot water), rinsing twice a day, until the cold sore improves.

Living together

During the days that the cold sore is present, simple activities like chewing, talking and even sleeping can become difficult.

In addition to home-based measures that can relieve pain and irritation, there are habits you can adopt during and after your wounds.

Take care of the food

If you eat something very acidic or citrus, you will probably feel the wound sting or burn.

There is even a myth that surrounds homemade recipes for cold sore and that refers exactly to this aspect: if it burns, it is because it is improving.

In truth no. Possibly, the injury is being further aggravated and causing unnecessary pain.

Therefore, it is best to take care of your food and avoid citrus fruits, acidic and spicy foods.

Hard foods or those that can hurt your mouth are also not recommended, as besides chewing is already difficult due to the cold sore, they can cause new injuries.

Take care of oral hygiene

Brushing your teeth may not be the easiest thing when the cold sore is stinging or hurting a lot, but maintaining good mouth hygiene is critical and prevents bacteria from accumulating in the lesions.

It is also worth taking care of the choice of products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. If you are going to use them, give preference to products without alcohol, which tend to be less aggressive to the mucous membranes.

Health care

Gastric problems, autoimmune diseases or food intolerance generally cause thrush as signs of neglect of the condition.

Therefore, if you suffer, for example, from reflux, diabetes , gastritis, allergies or food sensitivity, keep the treatment up to date and avoid habits that worsen your health (such as eating contraindicated foods).

Taking care of primary diseases or conditions can significantly reduce episodes of cold sore and improve your overall well-being.

Reduce stress

One of the factors that can trigger oral ulcers is stress or emotional changes.

Taking care of mental well-being, practicing relaxing activities, slowing down the routine and adopting healthier habits help to reduce the incidence of thrush due to these factors.

Prognosis: how long to cure cold sore?

The vast majority of cases have a good prognosis, and the lesion disappears spontaneously.

The average healing time for cold sores is between 6 and 15 days, but there are people who suffer from pain and burning for just over 3 days without the need for medication intervention.

In general, injuries do not indicate other complications and, even when recurring, they are easily eased, through changing eating habits or abandoning specific products (such as alcohol rinses).

Complications: can cold sore in the mouth cause serious problems?

The cold sore itself is generally not responsible for complications of the patient’s health or worsening of the condition. The conditions that deserve more attention are those of severe cold sore, of the major type, and recurrent.

In these episodes, which can be prolonged and constant, there is possibly an unknown triggering agent (such as food or gastric problems).

People who suffer from oral ulcers repeatedly may have chewing affected due to sensitivity, making the breakdown and degradation of food impaired. As a consequence, nutritional absorption may change.

It is worth remembering that even though thrush is not a worrying sign, in the vast majority of cases, any change in the organism that occurs with intensity and frequency must be properly investigated.

How to prevent thrush on the tongue, gums and cheek?

Adopting healthy eating and hygiene habits are ways to reduce the likelihood of a cold sore.

As they can be of diverse origin and even multifactorial (when several conditions, together, cause the injury), it is important to pay attention to the health of the organism as a whole and pay attention to the body’s signals.

Check out some tips that can help in reducing canker sores:

Maintain a balanced diet

One of the possible triggering factors for thrush is poor diet. The lack of nutrients or their malabsorption can be one of the reasons for small and uncomfortable wounds to appear.

Therefore, maintaining a balanced, diverse and rich menu of vitamins and minerals is essential.

Some vitamin deficiencies are more associated with thrush, such as those of the B complex, so it is worth investing in nutritional strengthening, including strengthening foods on a daily basis.

But adopting balance and vitamin diversity through good nutrition helps with the needs of the body and improves the immune system.

That is, every nutrient is essential for the health of the mouth and body.

Discover your triggers

Sometimes it is not possible to determine the causes of cold sore, as they are isolated events and without an apparent triggering factor.

But if it is possible to observe the habits that may be involved with the appearance of canker sores, they can give good indications of the cause of the problem.

In general, a strong, acidic, spicy diet is able to favor lesions in the mouth.

But in addition to it, there are also food allergies and intolerances. Therefore, if there is already knowledge of restrictions, it is necessary to follow medical recommendations or reassess the routine.

In some cases, for example, patients with celiac disease may be unknowingly consuming gluten (improperly labeled foods, cross-contamination or lack of attention).

In general cases, when it is not possible to determine the cause of the cold sore, it is worth avoiding condiments, acid products and very difficult to chew.

Maintain hygiene habits

Although there is no direct cause between bacteria in the mouth and thrush, changes caused by poor hygiene can favor lesions or weakening of the mucosa.

For example, a tooth that has a small groove or deterioration can press on the cheek and cause cuts.

In addition, brushing and cleaning habits should be evaluated for their quality.

Remember that small injuries caused by brushing can trigger thrush? Therefore, observe the choice of the brush, if the bristles are soft and adequate, and if you are not making inappropriate movements during brushing.

Analyze oral products

Alcohol rinses can be quite aggressive to the gums and mucous membranes of the mouth, so make sure you are not sensitive to the component.

In addition, toothpastes can also have irritating substances in the formula or even components that are not necessarily aggressive, but you are allergic.

So preferably use alcohol-free products and watch your body for signs. If there is severe irritation, watering or you feel that the product is too strong, its use should be avoided.

See a dentist regularly

Going to the dentist should be part of the routine as well as going to the doctor. Mouth care is part of maintaining the health of the whole organism.

Therefore, when there are changes in the gums, cheek, teeth, tongue, roof of the mouth or throat, it is recommended to seek dental care.

Apart from occasional problems, maintaining regular dental appointments is essential to avoid changes or dysfunctions.

Consult a gastroenterologist

A gastroenterologist will help prevent thrush if you already have a problem with digestion or acidity of the mouth and stomach.

Health care in general is essential, but it is worth remembering that reflux and intestinal diseases are quite associated with the appearance of thrush.

Common questions

Can cold sore be contagious?

No . Just as a cold sore cannot be “caught” or contracted, it cannot be transmitted. Canker sores are the body’s responses, usually to immunological, dietary and traumatic conditions.

Is there a remedy for cold sore on the tongue?

There are some ointments, rinses and medications that the dentist can recommend to relieve cold sore pain more quickly.

But they are not specific to the tongue, as they can be used all over the mouth, such as gums and cheeks, as long as the wound is in an accessible location.

It is worth remembering that the medicine will not prevent the appearance of the cold sore, only help in the healing of it.

When should I worry about a cold sore?

If the lesions are constant (they get better and come back very quickly), prolonged (more than 3 weeks), intense (sizes that are too big or that cause exaggerated pain), it is necessary to seek medical and dental care.

Look out for ulcers and your body and see if there is:

  • Severe pain or total absence of pain;
  • Worsening of appearance (increase in size or appearance of several other wounds);
  • Fever;
  • Difficulty swallowing or eating.

In such cases, it is recommended to seek specialized care with a doctor or dentist.

Can a cold sore be mouth cancer?

Although, at first, they may have similar lesions, mouth cancer and canker sores are quite different in their manifestations.

In general, there is no reason to consider wounds a cancer unless they are persistent and show no improvement.

It is important to be aware of pain and burning, as these symptoms are common and normal to cold sore, but are not usually present in cancer.

But it is worth remembering that canker sores can occur frequently – for example, in periods of high stress – and not be associated with any more serious condition. Thus, they arise, improve and disappear spontaneously.

Mouth cancer, on the other hand, tends to worsen over time, and may show lumps, blisters or whitish plaques in the mouth.

How long does a cold sore last in your mouth?

On average, the cold sore lesion lasts between 10 and 14 days, and the time of pain and burning is much shorter, around 4. However, decreases in immunity, consumption of citrus and acidic foods, use of alcoholic rinses or trauma over the cold sore can prolong the symptoms of pain.

Why does cold sore hurt so much?

Canker sores hurt a lot because they are small lesions that occur in the tissues of the mouth. These tissues are very sensitive and therefore cause pain. In addition, the mouth may be exposed to acidic foods and friction from chewing, causing the wounds to suffer other aggressions.

Can you put salt on the cold sore?

Not directly. In general, salt is a good antiseptic product. Therefore, if it is diluted in warm water, rinsing with the liquid can be an effective way to assist in the treatment of cold sore.

However, putting the salt directly on the wound can be quite unpleasant and even increase the sensation of pain or burning.

Why does pineapple cause cold sore?

Pineapple is an acidic food that can cause irritation to the mucosa (epithelial tissue), triggering ulceration. In addition, it is hard, which can cause minor lesions in the mucosa, leading to cold sore.

Ideally, if the person relates the consumption of the fruit to the appearance of wounds, consumption is avoided.

Despite not presenting great risks and health complications, cold sore is a condition that can be quite uncomfortable, especially if it occurs frequently, causing difficulties in chewing, burning and pain in the area.

Adopting healthy habits and regularly consulting doctors and dentists is a way of taking care of the health of the whole body and reducing the possibility of cold sores.

To learn more health and body care tips, keep an eye on the Healthy Minute!