Canker Sores: Common Causes and Treatment

Canker Sores: Common Causes and Treatment

Canker sore or aphthous ulcer is the most common type of mouth ulcer and is very painful and appears inside your mouth. Often found inside lips or cheeks, these sores can emerge anytime. Though not contagious, they can still cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Usually yellow or white in color, these sores are surrounded by inflamed soft tissues. 
Canker sores are more common among women and people between the ages of 10 and 40. Canker sores usually heal without any treatment within one to three weeks. However, serious ones may take over six weeks to heal.

Common Causes

Though the exact cause of canker sores is unknown, several factors can lead to their frequent appearance:

Injury or Mouth Trauma 

  • Biting the inside of your lip or cheek by accident
  • Mouth injury caused while playing sports
  • Burning the mouth by drinking or eating hot food
  • The sharp edges of chipped or broken teeth rubbing against the soft oral tissues 
  • Irritation by the constant rubbing of ill-fitted dentures or other orthodontic devices 

Allergic Reaction 

  • Allergic reaction to metal orthodontic attachments
  • Allergic reaction to certain types of food 
  • Eating protein-gluten rich food could trigger sores in patients with celiac disease 

Eating Habits 

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate, commonly found in toothpaste
  • Eating acidic or spicy food 
  • Excessive chewing of tobacco

Other Causes 

  • Deficiency of vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals 
  • Genetics  
  • Emotional stress 
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause 

Treatment of Cancer Sores

  • Apply ice on the area to relieve pain 
  • Use honey as an antibacterial 
  • Rinse your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and warm water
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Use a small amount of milk of magnesia and dab it on sores for instant relief 
  • Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush 
  • Oral steroid medications as a last resort if other treatments do not work

As said, canker sores heal on their own; some stubborn and serious ones need expert dental care. Seek help from your dentist in Ames if canker sores do not heal after 14 days. 


Campustown Dental

Campustown Dental, located in Ames, Iowa is a family dental care center committed to restoring and enhancing the healthy smile of you and your family. Our highly skilled dental team is dedicated to delivering the most comprehensive and affordable dental care accessible in the most comfortable surroundings.

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