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Canker Sores Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are canker sores?

Aphthous ulcers or canker sores are characterized as shallow, small lesions which develop at the gum’s base or the tissues present in the mouth. More specifically, it do not tend to be contagious, though they are painful and can cause talking and eating difficulties. Mostly, they heal themselves completing their course, which is 1-2 weeks.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

Many cancer sores tend to be oval or round with a yellow or white center with a red color border. Moreover, they develop inside the mouth- inside the lips or cheeks, under or on the tongue, on the soft palate or at the gums base. A burning or tingling sensation can be noticed before they appear.

More specifically, there are certain types of canker sores, including:

  • Minor canker sores: they are small and oval shaped. They heal within 1-2 weeks without scarring.
  • Major canker sores: they are deeper and larger with irregular edges. Mostly, they take more than six weeks for healing and leave scars.
  • Herpetiform canker sores: they occur in form of clusters and have pinpoint size. With irregular edges, herpetiorm heal within 1-2 weeks without any scarring.

What causes canker sores?

Clearly, what causes the disease is unknown till date, however researchers doubts the combination of certain factors in contributing.

Few triggers possibly causing this disease are:

  • Emotional stress.
  • Hormonal shifts in menstruation.
  • Bacteria called helicobacter pylori.
  • Allergic response due to some bacteria present in the mouth.
  • A diet deficient in iron, folic acid, zinc or vitamin B-12.
  • Food sensitivities.
  • Mouth rinses and toothpastes that have sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Injury of mouth due to sports accident, dental work, acidic food etc.

Certain diseases and condition that may also cause the disease are:

What are the risk factors of canker sores?

This disease can strike any one among us, though you are more likely to have canker sores if:

  • It runs in your family.
  • If you are a female.

How is canker sores diagnosed?

Through visually examining your mouth, the doctor can diagnose canker sores and thus needs no specific tests and procedures. However, in certain cases, when the disease sores are continuing and severe, the doctor can suggest few tests for identifying any other problem.

How are canker sores treated?

In most cases, treatment is not needed as they heal themselves after completing their course of two weeks. However, persistent and large sores want medical care. Certain treatment options of canker sores include:

  • Mouth rinses.
  • Topical pastes.
  • Oral medications.
  • Cautery of sores.
  • Nutritional supplements.

The doctor will be more likely to treat the causal condition if canker sores relate to some serious health concern.


  • Avoid consuming foods or fruits that may irritate your mouth.
  • Go for healthy foods.
  • Avoid talking while chewing as it can injure your tongue.
  • Oral hygiene is important.
  • Reduce stress.

By : Natural Health News

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