Dental Tips Blog


What Causes Canker Sores?

Posted in Oral Cancer

All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, you feel a bump on the inside of your cheek or on your tongue. It stings and hurts even more when you eat or drink something. It’s a canker sore and there is nothing you can do about it until it just goes away on its own.

Or is there?

Canker sores, also called mouth ulcers, are yellow or white spots encircled in red. They usually last for about a week and then disappear, sometimes reappearing two or three times a year. They most often occur in pre-teens and adolescents, but sometimes adults get them, too.

No one knows specifically what causes canker sores, but they appear to be related to:

  • An injury to the mouth or bite
  • Eating acidic or highly salty food
  • Stress
  • Vitamin deficiency, such as insufficient B-12 or folic acid

Treatments can include rinsing the mouth with salt water or a mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist. In more severe cases, even stronger medication may be prescribed.

It’s important to note that in certain situations, you should contact your dentist. These include multiple sores or persistent sores lasting more than three weeks, a fever, excessive pain or extraordinarily large sores. It is quite possible that what you think is a canker sore might be something entirely different, such as oral cancer,  herpes or a drug allergy.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 


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