Canker sores (also known as aphthous ulcers) are tiny, shallow mouth sores that form in the mouth’s mucous membrane (inner lining). Dentist in Houston, TX say that canker sores can develop on the inner cheeks, lips, tongue, and gums. Canker sores often begin as white or yellowish mouth ulcers with somewhat red edges. They normally start tiny, approximately 1 mm, but can develop up to 1 inch in size.

Why Do We Develop Canker Sores?

Most canker sores are not contagious and cannot be transmitted by saliva, but no one knows for certain what causes them. They can be the consequence of an injury, such as when you accidentally bite your cheek or when braces grab or grind against the inside of the cheeks or back of the lips, but they frequently. They can be triggered by several things, like a weak immune system, dehydration, allergies, stress, and even medication. 

Canker Sores May Also Develop When You:

  • When you are stressed or tired.
  • Hurt your mouth by biting your lip.
  • Wear braces on your teeth.
  • Sensitive to mouth-irritating foods.
  • Insufficient intake of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid.

How to Prevent Canker Sore?

To prevent cankers, first learn what causes them. Canker sores can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, oral trauma (from biting or toothbrush irritation), particular diets (such as acidic fruits or spicy cuisines), and vitamin B12, folic acid, or iron deficiency. Prevent canker sores by reducing stress and being mindful of your food and dental hygiene routines. Avoid foods that cause oral irritation, such as acidic fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits), spicy meals, salty foods, and sharp-edged chips or crackers. Other recommendations include using a soft toothbrush and cleaning your teeth lightly. Avoiding alcohol-based mouthwashes may also help prevent canker sores.

How Long Do Canker Sores Last?

Most canker sores, particularly uncomplicated canker sores, heal and vanish completely within two weeks, even without therapy. Complex or significant canker sores can take up to four weeks to heal, and they may leave a scar. Most people have canker sore symptoms 3-6 times each year. However, many people can go years without developing another canker sore.

Canker sores are little mouth ulcers that can cause significant pain and suffering. They are often benign and do not progress to or acquire mouth cancer.

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