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Recurrent sores on the tongue: when do they hide a serious disease?

It is common that our oral health is threatened by various pathologies. One of the most common is cancer. Tongue pain in most cases is caused by something visible, such as ulcers, a disease as common as it is annoying.

These canker sores appear in the mouth as small lesions a The appearance is similar to a burn. In most cases, they occur in soft tissues such as the inside of the lips, tongue, and gums.

They can influence both men and women Although they are more prone to compression. As reported by the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC), occurs at any age, especially between 10 and 40 years.

What are and how are tongue ulcers

Canker sores or ulcers are small, superficial lesions that form in the soft tissues of the mouth. They usually do not appear on the surface of the lips (like sores) and are not contagious. But they are uncomfortable and painful and can cause pain and make swallowing and eating difficult.

Most ulcers have a Round or oval shape, with a white or yellow center and a red border. They are usually classified according to their size and shape. Those with a diameter of up to 10 millimeters are the smallest, and the largest exceed 10 millimeters.

They can create one or several at a time. In some cases, a day or two before the sores appear, we may feel a tingling or burning sensation.

They may appear three or four times a year and lasts up to a week. The pain subsides in seven to 10 days and usually resolves in one to two weeks without treatment. However, ulcers larger than one centimeter may take three to four weeks to heal.

Why do ulcers appear on the tongue?

It is not clear why some people are more prone to ulcers than others. in fact, In 70% of cases the cause is unknown According to the Official College of Pharmacists of MadridCOFM).

Nevertheless, several factors have been described that contribute to the development of these ulcers:

  • stress or anxiety.
  • Hormonal changes.
  • Any injury or damage to the mouth such as sharp teeth, braces or dentures.
  • A reaction to certain foods, such as acids.
  • Reaction to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Menstrual periods.

Most canker sores heal on their own within a week or two. But if it doesn’t happen and it lasts longer, or they come back again, it’s important Consult your doctor Because it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

In the case of more complex ulcers, the causes go further and are explained by conditions of the immune system:

  • Lupus
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • AIDS

If the ulcers persist for more than two weeks and recur, it is important to consult a doctor, as a blood test may be necessary. nutritional deficiency Vitamin C (scurvy), vitamin B12, folic acid or iron or inflammatory conditions.

How are tongue ulcers treated?

Although ulcers are usually harmless and heal on their own, it is important to keep them under control with some treatment options:

  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods, as well as nuts, pineapple, some cheeses, spices, alcohol and vinegar.
  • Choose a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Follow good oral hygiene habits.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
  • Apply an antiseptic gel to the pain.
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day.
  • In some cases, the doctor may prescribe immunosuppressive drugs.

Some home remedies can help heal these ulcers:

  • Warm Salt Water Irrigation: Salt has analgesic and healing powers that reduce pain and soothe pain.
  • Rinse with warm chamomile: Although it is less aggressive than salt, it also has healing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
  • Apply ice: Although this is a remedy that can help relieve pain, be careful as it can cause burns if used excessively.

Over-the-counter medications indicated for the treatment of ulcers include local anesthetics to reduce sensitivity; antiseptics; topical anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation; and pain relievers to reduce pain.

The semFYC recommends consulting a physician in the following cases:

  • If the ulcer is larger than one centimeter.
  • If it prevents us from eating normally.
  • If it lasts longer than two weeks.
  • If cancer symptoms persist or worsen.
  • If they appear more than three times a year.
  • If we have a fever, diarrhea, headache or skin rash.

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Source: El Diario

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