Herpetiform Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms And Home Remedies

Canker sores are benign off white color ulcers with red edge mostly found under the tongue, base of gums, inner side of cheeks, and on upper palate. Canker sores are quiet painful and last for 2 to 10 days. Herpetiform canker sores are tiny irregular shaped ulcers which develop in clusters.

Although the name herpetiform, these ulcers are not caused by virus.

This form of canker sores are so called because they develop in clusters similar to lesions of herpes simplex. Unlike lesions of herpes, herpetiform canker sores are not contagious.

Injury to the mucus membrane inside the cheek, mouth, and tongue, or eating too much spicy food or allergy to certain foods and stress are considered to the probable causes. Herpetiform canker sores are easily diagnosed from its appearance.

Normally the lesions take 1 to 2 weeks healing time. However, some people use oral gel or natural remedies for speedy recovery and relieving the symptoms.

What Causes Herpetiform Canker Sores?

Herpetiform canker sores can develop at any age and in any individual. Usually it forms in teenagers and adults. Herpetiform canker sores more often are seen in females as compared to males. It is a common problem and at least one out of four people may have experienced this disorder sometime in their life. The real cause of herpetiform canker sores is not known in many patients. It is believed to develop as a result of immune over activity.

There are several triggers that can attribute formation of ulcers. One of the main reasons is injury inside the cheek, tongue, and mouth while aggressive brushing or dental work. It is known to have hereditary trait. Deficiency of vitamin B12, B6, and B1, folic acid can produce canker sores. Allergy to certain foods especially acidic foods such as tomatoes, strawberry, citrus fruits etc.

Herpetiform canker sores are also commonly seen during menstruation and pregnancy because of hormonal changes. Excessive stress and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, HIV infection, are also trigger formation of herpetiform canker sores.

Symptoms Of Herpetiform Canker Sores

Before eruption of herpetiform canker sores patient may have burning and tingling sensation in his mouth and tongue. This may occur one or two days before the development of sores. The signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • Herpeteform canker sores are characterized by formation of clusters of tiny ulcers in mouth. There are large numbers of tiny sores.
  • Herpetiform canker sores generally develop in teenagers and adults.
  • The ulcers have off white base and red border. They often coalesce together to form a large blister.
  • Herpetiform canker sores have irregular edges.
  • The ulcers are painful. Patient often experiences difficulty while eating food.
  • The ulcers normally heal after a week or 10 days.
  • Multiple sores of herpetiform canker develop at the base of gum, on upper palate, under the tongue, inside the cheek and lip.

Natural Remedies For Herpetiform Canker Sores

Herpetiform canker sores are benign ulcers and they usually heal within 10 to 12 days even without any medication. However, some people use medicines and products for quick relief from pain.

  • Salt water mouth rinse is beneficial as it reduces inflammation and pain.
  • Oral gels and mouth rinses available in medical stores can also be used.
  • Patient is advised to eat fruits and vegetables as they contain high amount of B vitamins and folic acid.
  • Patient must avoid spicy and pungent food as it can worsen the sores.
  • Oral rinse with antibiotic solution helps to coat the ulcer. It also prevents formation of new ones.
  • Application of milk of magnesia on ulcers helps it to heal faster.
  • To control pain, applying ice is beneficial.

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