Canker sores/ulcers are raw “wounds” that usually form on the interior of the mouth in front of your lower gums or sometimes along the interior cheek area, though they can pop up almost anywhere. I’ll sometimes get one on the bottom of my tongue which feels quite a bit different than one on the interior of my mouth. My tongue is sore, but I don’t get the sharp intense pain usually associated with a sore on the interior oral surfaces. Usually they’re triggered by slight trauma to the area spurring on the growth. They’ll usually start small and get bigger, then eventually recede and disappear within about 1 – 2 weeks. Unfortunately until that happens they are very painful and sensitive.
I myself have suffered with canker sores since I was very young. I remember getting them when I was 6 or 7. My mom had a tendency to get them when she was younger, but kind of grew out of it and no longer gets them actively, although she does have some considerable auto-immune disease issues. My brother has rarely ever had one. The source of these sores is unknown. It does not appear to be a Herpes based virus causing it, but probably more along the lines of an autoimmune issue. Though the link between the two isn’t conclusive and autoimmune disorders seem to be a blanket statement for a lot of unexplainable maladies in the health field.
Another big factor is stress and lack of sleep. Recently I’ve had some stressful situations in my life and also have not been getting much sleep. This probably played a part in why my recent sores developed.
The link with IBS comes up because when I have an oral sore flare up, I usually notice that my digestive health suffers as well. My symptoms are more amplified. I am easily fatigued and more irritable as well.
As far as treatment for oral sores go, I’ve found the best treatment is keeping up oral hygiene. My guess is that bacteria in the mouth will attack the open sore and cause more pain. So it is worth it to try to bush and swish with mouthwash as usual, if not more so.
There is also a link between the amino acid Lysine being helpful. Lysine has been somewhat helpful to me before, but unfortunately it also seems to cause digestive distress as well, causing constipation. You may have a different experience and it’s certainly worth a try if you feel a sore coming on and even afterward.
I have tried some of the over the counter remedy gels which are god awful expensive. They really did not make any difference in healing time. There are also numbing agents like Ambesol, which vary in their effectiveness and can really hurt while applying them. They also can make your mouth feel weird or cause funny tastes due to the numbing agent & how they have it flavored.
One tactic that actually has worked in the past was to gently brush around and even on top of the sore when it was small. Yes painful sounding, but when they’re starting out they’re not that bad. This would then be followed up by swishing with an anti-septic mouth wash & taking a lysine supplement. I actually prevented a few small sores from getting very big and they disappeared within a few days rather than taking two weeks. This did not help much with this most recent flare up as the sores set in pretty quickly and largely.
Psoriasis ( Updated Jun, 2011)
Research suggests that Psoriasis an autoimmune related disease. Depending on the type of Psoriasis, symptoms may vary from small mildly flaky & itchy skin to large areas of severe itching, flaking, burning or blistering of the skin coupled with fever, aches & fatigue. Treatment for Psoriasis can range from topical steroidal creams to immunosupressive drugs. Psorasisis can also cause anxiety, depression & self esteem problems. There is no cure for Psoriasis, it is a chronic condition that can be very debilitating. Psoriasis is not contagious.
I initially noticed mild Psoriasis issues on the lower portion of my scalp on the back of my head when I was a teenager. This was around the same time I started experiencing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. When going to get my hair cut I’d usually get a comment that I had dandruff issues & need special shampoos that never worked. Years later I finally had a doctor look at it & he prescribed a steroidal foam called Luxiq(foamy Betamethasone) which is easier to use on the the scalp where hair can get in the way. I had good results with Luxiq, but it is very expensive if you do not have insurance, up to $300 USD.
I also developed a 2″ patch of flaking, itching & sometimes raw skin on my back. After trying to treat it for many months using over the counter steriods, with diminishing success, I finally got a hold of some Bethamethasone in cream form which obviously worked much better. Eventually the patch on my back disappeared & has not recurred. I still deal with scalp Psoriasis.
Ultimately there seems to be at least a loose link between IBS, oral sores & psoriasis to autoimmune disorders. There haven’t really been a whole lot of studies linking the three up. I’ve read some other sites on the web about the connection, but a lot of them see to be just be basic outlines on what constitutes IBS or an oral sore. So we’re kind of in the dark. Even if we do find that they are linked there are really only management options available, no cures at this time. Hopefully as medical science progresses there may be more options for treatment. If these are caused by a hereditary link, perhaps gene therapies can be introduced in the future to actually cure or prevent IBS or a whole host of other problems that can occur
I have palma-plantar psoriasis and lately have been struggling with canker or oral sores as of late. It does seem plausible that there is an autoimmune connection as flare-ups of both of my conditions seem to happen around the same time. I have stopped the topical steroid treatment for 4 months and within that time the mouth oral sores have increased in frequency. Also, of corse, the psoriasis has ebbed and come on again. The payoff with stopping the steroids is that I feel now that I can control effects of the flare-ups and now don’t have to wear gloves to bed. I do use vaseline everyday to protect my skin.
As for the canker sores I have had luck with Kanka liquid, Gly-cosol, and Canker Cover. Kanka liquid works like Ambesol, but also adds a layer of film on the sore for quick relief. It’s $5-$6 a bottle and does a good job in an emergnecy. Gly-cosol is a peroxide based mouthwash that is thick and viscous. It does a great job of washing the sore out and alleviating pain (after it burns during the 1 minute rinse of the sore). It’s expensive ($9-$11), but it does the job and it lasts for a fair ammount. Canker-Cover is a box of 6 pills that can be divided up (cut with a knife) that I use for prevention and treatment that is most affective. It covers the sore for 3-12 hours depending on where the sore is in the mouth, and seems to work the best. Canker-Cover is $10 for 6 pills! Muy Expensive! But it does cover the sore and totally relieves the pain. It works for less time in areas that move a lot like the tounge and seems to stay on all day in the folds of the cheek and gum.
The only issue I’ve had with these oral treatments is that they seem to cause flare-ups around the same spot that I’ve treated. Especially the Kanka liquid. I use it sparingly if I can’t adhere a Canker-Cover to a specific spot.
I hope this helps someone a bit.
Thanks for the info. I’ll have to look for Kanka & Gly-cosol. I did try the canker covers(not sure what brand), but they had a funny taste and I think my stomach felt a little funny the next day if I used them overnight, though my stomach feels funny with practically anything. Also it seemed a bit bulky so my lower lip protruded out a bit and I could tell it was there. I did try cutting it in half, but then only part of the sore seemed to be covered. This last January I seemed to have a major flare-up of canker sores in my mouth, one after another. Seems to have dissipated now into February. I was stressing out last month, it’s funny when people say “you need to lower your stress”, well that will happen once the things causing me stress are resolved, until then stress is the name of the game! Luckily those stressors have been alleviated for now at least, so the canker sores seem to be at bay.
My psoriasis is mainly on the back of my scalp behind my ear. I have Betamethasone cream I put on there occasionally. I did have a patch about the size of a silver dollar on my upper back, but that seemingly disappeared, though the scalp scaling/flakiness still remains.
Psoriasis is NOT a Skin disorder… It IS an autoimmune disease. The skin condition that comes along with it is one of many possible symptoms that come with the disease.
the symptoms are sometimes treatable, the disease has no known cure though.
It is a misunderstood disease which is why I am saying anything… I actually wrote a Blog about it my self.
Here is a link to the Blog.
I do find it interesting though that I to was diagnosed with IBS and Psoriasis. I have had Psoriasis since I was a little girl. (2yo) I was Diagnosed with IBS at age 2o, and have had canker sores (mouth ulcers) since I was a little girl as well.
@Alex, thank you for bringing attention to this post. I have revised & updated the post to be more accurate to those who deal with moderate – severe Psoraisis. I admit I have very mild Psoriasis so I am not as involved with researching things about Psoriasis as I am about digestive issues. I definitely had no intention to belittle Psoriasis as a condition as that is something that annoys me when people don’t understand the severity of things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other chronic conditions.
I know this post is old, but found it looking for answers myself.
I have moderate to severe psoriasis. I currently am treated with injection methotrextate and have in the past used the cortisones, tars, cyclosporin, etc. Pretty much anything I could afford. I have never had a 100% remission in my whole 45 years of age.
I too have also suffered from psoriasis, IBS, and canker sores since about the age of two and believe that they must be related or symptoms of the same immune issue. In addition, I have also suffered from chronic pain, which subsequently was diagnosed as the dreaded fibromyalgia. It has however been pretty much gone since being diagnosed and then treated for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can also be caused by autoimmune issues and I had probably suffered from it for years before diagnosis.
I find symptoms to be much worse when I have another illness such as a cold, flu or sinus infection or am over tired. Lately it seems that I am almost never without a canker sore, cold or flu. It is really painful and frustrating.
It is difficult to know when I am actually sick or just having symptoms from the psoriasis. It is heartbreaking and maddening that the family doctors I’ve been to see really don’t seem to care or don’t believe or understand how adversely this all affects the quality of our lives. I feel that I am labeled as a “chronic” by my current doctor and that she just tolerates my visits and that I do not really get the care that I deserve.
Lastly, I tend to be negative about many things, but don’t believe its depression, and really wonder why. Do you think it is another symptom of our autoimmune issues? Or is it just an accumulation of our frustrations and suffering from dealing with our disease(s)? Is anyone else like this?
I’d sure like some scientist to solve this mystery in my lifetime!
Wow. Just on a whim I searched for my suspicion that my psoriasis of 15 yers now might be linked to the IBS ( although not officially diagnosed as I can’t find a serious doctor that really pays any true attention )symptoms that I have had for about 2 years now. Looky at what we find. You guys!
I would have to unofficially agree, and will now look for more immune disorder stuff.
I am and have been underweight most of my life which is also a possible hyperthiroid isse.
Lets keep looking guys as doctors are few and far between that actually try to link these seperate issues up even if the patients may continue to have multiple issues and desease or health issues.
Not cancer and not a big % of the population so these issues way down on the government grant and drug company research budjets.
Now if we had erection problems that would be researched and we would have viagra and all would be good lol. Bookmarking this page in favorites and will check in again with and for any revelations we may find.
In the meantime when were sitting on the toiletfrom ibs, scratching our psoriasis and looking in the mirror at our canker sore at least we know were not alone lol.
Best of luck and if you find any good info please pass it on and keep this topic open!
Wow it’s like reading my own story reading some things written here! Well I’m pleased to tell you that I am actually being taken seriously by a doctor! Shock!! Haha After suffering from IBS for most of my adult life which was only diagnosed through a spoken consultation, since January this year I have suffered from the most horrendous painful mouth. I basically have felt like all my gums, inside my cheeks, tongue and roof of my mouth have been covered in ulcers. They have been incredibly inflamed which has made eating a nightmare (but done wonders for my diet! Lol) Anyway after having 3 different GPs fob me off with 6 different lots of antibiotics and even after having a short course of vitamin b12 injections after my levels were found to be a bit low (my levels are back to normal now), one of them finally referred me to an oral surgeon. I’ve also had a really sore scalp on and off over the months which my GPs have put down to being foliculitis which I’ve never really believed as the antibiotics have never really done anything. Well what a revelation my oral surgeon is! He was incredibly thorough in his questioning of my other symptoms and I had 9 syringes full of blood taken from me for tests! He said he was determined to get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me and I go back next Wednesday so hopefully will get some answers, fingers crossed. The main point I wanted to get across though is that quite a few of his possible diagnoses were auto-immune disorders which I’d never considered before. The main one he mentioned was lupus, and crohn’s disease is also a possibility too which I think would potentially fit in more with the digestive symptoms, although apparently lupus sufferers symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. I’ve also noticed too that my mouth and scalp symptoms seem to ease off considerably after a bout of constipation has resolved (sorry to be so graphic!) I wonder if this is some kind of toxin build up then that manifests itself as inflammation in the mouth and on the skin and also makes you irritable and feel low with it not actually being depression. I’m no doctor but I’m sure this would make sense? Well anyway I’ll try and remember to keep you guys posted on my results next week if there’s anything to report and then you can all pester your own GPs and hopefully point them in the right direction.
I have had amazing results with a very inexpensive OTC called Carmex. Available @any Target. Cvs etc. 99 cents If you catch the cold sore right when u feel that first twinge, it almost always clears it up in hours. Also works to numb and smooth small patches of psoriasis. Has natural ingredients. Good luck friends. This has provided a lot of comfort for me. I always carry it with me!
I too suffer from IBS, psoriasis and canker sores. The best thing I have ever found to treat the canker sores is straight hydrogen peroxide. I swear by it! If you feel a canker sore coming on just put peroxide on it. If the cs has gotten too big it does burn a little but it works the best at getting rid of them fast!!
I wonder about certain food triggers. Do any of you NOT eat yogurt? I think yogurt is a trigger for me. Obviously tobacco and alcohol are, right? I’m looking at this with an ayurvedic perspective.
My mom always said canker sores were related to citrus, but I don’t think that’s the case. Citrus can certainly be painful to eat when you have a canker sore though. I think the bigger factor for me is lack of sleep, stress and physical trauma. For example, if I am tired, stressed and accidentally bite my inner lip, a canker sore will often develop. Canker sores also seem to heal faster if I get more sleep, and I am diligent with oral hygiene using antiseptic mouthwash.
I stumbled upon this website as all of a sudden today I thought there may be a connection. I’ve had canker sores since braces, about 5 yrs ago developed an itchy scalp and about a year ago sporadic eczema. No diagnosis for the scalp, and actually haven’t officially been diagnosed with eczema. I’m a doctor of oriental medicine and am usually surrounded by medical mysteries as many patients come to me after unsuccessful MD visits.
One product I have found to be amazing on my canker sores is a Chinese powder. It’s branded for sore throats, but I use it at the beginning of a canker sore. One of my professors in grad school passed on this little nugget of information. It’s in a green/white bottle called:
shuangliao houfeng san
It’s inexpensive and lasts a long time. Put the powder directly on the sore. Doesn’t taste great, so beware. Easiest way is to first put the powder on your finger. You’ll want to experiment with how much to use, for me I have to have a little mound on my finger, not just a dab. Always I use it at night, and sometimes I’ll use it during the day, but it rubs off quickly. At night I put it on and close my mouth without talking to try to keep it in place.
If you have a china town where you live, just go to any herb store and ask for it. Otherwise you can find it online.
I suppose it’s time for me to start treating myself as well for immune support. My mom has issues with her thyroid (autoimmune), my aunt has a type of autoimmune anemia.
Hope you get a bit of relief
I’m 45 and have suffered from plaque psoriasis since 5th grade. It started on the scalp and then gradually spread to just above every part of my body. Nothing seems to help it for long… if I take the steroid creams it seems to work for a while but then the P fights back and becomes worse than ever. I refuse to take oral immune suppressing drugs. I noticed the P came on in the same year I first got my period (age 12) and that is also when I started gaining weight, due to extreme stress in my life (bullying) and depression. Nothing much has changed over the years and my stress levels and lack of sleep have become worse (I am a caregiver for a senior family member who refuses to go to bed at night). The last 2-3 years or so I have also developed digestive issues, and these problems (IBS-D?) have increased to the point where I am really concerned… this my research which led me to this blog. The only thing I don’t have is the canker sores (knock on wood!). I’ve never had one, and I hope I never get any :/ My mother has auto-immune problems, was diagnosed years ago with lupus, which a different doctor said was actually a related form called “mixed collagen vascular disease, she also had half of her thyroid out due to changing cells and takes thyroid treatment. My mother’s grandmother apparently had lupus. I have type 2 diabetes. So many problems… *sigh*. I think stress is responsible for many, many health problems today. That and the lousy diet and lack or exercise and proper sleep. They said for years that Type 2 diabetes wasn’t curable, but that has since proven to be false. I’m wondering how many other “immune disorders” can be cured if only we find ways to get our stress levels and sleep issues under control, and return to healthier ways of living… Easier said than done, but what other choice do we have but to be subjected to expensive medications which are either ineffective or can make us worse or kill us all together? (I hate medication commercials!) :(
Interesting to read. I too suffer from terrible large mouth ulcers (not from trauma) and lose weight quickly around these times. I also have palmar plantar psoriasis which so far has only attacked my feet! I have not been diagnosed with any auto immune condition but have always had odd illnesses seemingly directly related to stress and feeling exhaustion. Often I am fatigued and irritable. Blood work intermittently comes back deranged- I’ve been anaemic and then tested for haemachromatosis when another time my iron was inexplicably high (without supplements). It’s frustrating when you feel so physically vulnerable and quality of life affected without any explanation…
Hey everyone… I have always struggled with canker sores and a dry itchy scalp for as long as I can remember… I started to wonder if the two were connected and was brought to this page. It’s comforting to know I may not be alone
Triamcinolone Acetone Dental Paste USP, 0.1%. Changed my life.
I’m a 56 yo male with plaque psoriasis in spots; tailbone, right thigh, left elbow, etc, starting about 10 years ago. I’ve had canker sores all my life. They usually happened 2 or 3 times a year and lasted 1-2 weeks. Then about 3 years ago I started getting canker sores that lasted 4-6 weeks, were 3-4 times larger, deeper, in multiple spots at one time. I’ve had cold sores before, but never a canker sore on my lip! I even started getting them on both saliva glands. I now know what people mean when they say “chronic pain”.
I was sullen and depressed. I wouldn’t go places, just stay home because talking was too painful. People I worked with knew why I wasn’t responding to them. Maybe I’d just nod or wave. I got to the point where it was hard to remember not being in pain. My dentist would “burn” them off with an acid and give me a few days of relief, but that was temporary and I was to the point I was going in once a month then multiple time a week. He eventually became reluctant to do it anymore. That was about 9 month in.
My Girlfriend first googled and found the term Psoriasitic Canker sores. With that information in hand my dentist prescribed the dental paste I first mentioned. It comes in a tiny tube about 1/4 the size of a travel tooth paste. and it costs about $60 without insurance. Can’t get it from Canada. Don’t know why. One tube was lasting me about 3 months, so 4 tubes a year. It says to use 4 times a day, but I’d only use it at night. Just before bed. Canker sores would last 2-3 days and stay small and almost painless. I now have one tube open, another in reserve. Life is great! I now live in fear of running out of the dental paste, but it is an irrational fear. I hope.
Where I’m at now. One tube now lasts me 6-9 months. Dental hygiene is essential and mouthwash twice a day was key to lessening the frequency of the sores. Now the paste lasts longer and I have an incentive to spend more time brushing and rinsing.
The paste is a Steroid. My understanding of how it works is it strengthens the healthy, undamaged cells around the damaged cells and keeps them from being affected. This is why I used it only at night. It’s hard to keep in place when you are active during the day. Thanks GF! Thanks Dentist! Thanks Science!