A canker sore, also known as a mouth ulcer or aphthous ulcer, is a tiny bump that forms in the throat or mouth. Typically canker sores develop on the inner side of cheeks or lips; they can also form on the back of the throat or tonsils.
These lesions are not contagious and usually heal by themselves. OTC pain relievers can ease the discomfort, and home remedies can help reduce the symptoms.

Symptoms of a canker sore in the throat

The main symptom of a canker sore in the throat or tonsils is pain. You may experience itching or burns in the throat. Acidic or spicy foods items can aggravate the soreness. You may also find it painful to open your mouth, chew or speak.

Types of canker sore

  • minor
  • major
  • herpetiform

The size of minor canker sores is about a few millimeters. Major canker sores can have a diameter of about 1-3 centimeters. Herpetiform canker sores are a bunch of small canker sores, just the size of a pinhead.
It may take up to 28-30 days for major canker sores to heal, and they may leave scars. Major mouth ulcers are more painful than minor ones, and they can make eating or drinking uncomfortable.
Herpetiform canker sores develop in the form of multiple sores and cover a wide area, leaving scars upon healing.

Causes and risk factors

More studies are required to know why some people are more prone to canker sores than others. One factor is genetic, as canker sores can pass on to children.
Here are some causes of canker sores:

  • stress
  • hormonal changes
  • mouth or throat injuries
  • deficiencies of iron or vitamin B
  • eating spicy or acidic foods

A weak immune system can increase the chances of canker sore development. This includes individuals with certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, and HIV.

Home remedies

Saltwater rinse

Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle with the rinse to get rid of a canker sore in the throat or tonsils. Repeat this three times a day.

Cold solution

Drink icy cold water or suck on ice cubes to numb the pain. Alternatively, you can eat ice cream or frozen yogurt, which will also add some taste. Avoid eating food items with sharp edges as they can irritate your canker sores.

Lifestyle changes

If your canker sores keep coming back, the following changes to your lifestyle can be helpful.

  • Eat mild foods
  • Try different methods to relieve stress
  • Take supplements to cover deficiencies of iron or vitamin B

Medical treatments

Over-the-counter gels and creams have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the pain when applied directly to the sores.
It’s not easy to reach a canker sore in the throat. Mouthwash is an effective way to minimize inflammation, pain, and risk of infection. An antimicrobial or medicated mouthwash will work best for you.
If you have a severe canker sore, your doctor can prescribe you medication for quick relief. To schedule an appointment with San Ramon Urgent Care Clinic, call one of our locations.

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