Canker Sores 101: What You Need to Know

Canker Sores 101: What You Need to Know

Canker sores can be very painful, so it’s important to know how to prevent and treat them. Read more to find out everything you need to know about canker sores. 

What are canker sores?

Canker sores are small, painful sores in your mouth. Technically known as aphthous ulcers, they can form on your tongue, lips, gums, and cheeks, but they’re not actually contagious. 

Canker sores are fairly common and can last anywhere between a couple of days and up to two weeks. Some people may experience regular canker sores, while others 

Types of Canker Sores

There are three different types of canker sores

  1. A minor sore is small and has an oval shape with red around the edges. It can take between 1-2 weeks to heal. 
  2. Major sores are larger and also deeper. They are the most painful type of canker sores and can even leave scarring. They can last for up to 4-6 weeks. 
  3. Herpetiform canker sores are really small ulcers that form in clusters, but tend to heal without scarring in 1-2 weeks. 

What causes canker sores?

Everyone is different and it’s actually hard to pinpoint where canker sores come from, but there are a few causes that can be linked to these painful sores: 

  • Foods such as acidic fruit, spiced food, coffee, cheese, nuts, and eggs
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in mouthwash and toothpaste
  • Stress
  • Hormonal shifts associated with menstrual cycles 
  • A lack of iron, zinc,  vitamin B-12, or folic acid
  • An underlying problem with the immune system
  • Genetics

How to prevent and treat canker sores

Maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine, such as brushing and flossing, will help prevent and treat canker sores. Make sure to choose toothpaste and mouthwash that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate. 

Keep track of your canker sores, including any foods that may have triggered the reaction. Try eliminating the foods that cause any inflammation or discomfort in your mouth. Eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains will help tackle canker sores, as will decreasing your stress levels. 

Get In Touch 

If you have any concerns regarding canker sores, contact Kozlow and Rowell today and speak with us about how we can assist you in preventing and treating them.