Canker sores are a common mouth infection that can occur anywhere in your oral cavity. They’re small, painful ulcers often found on the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They tend to be shallow and round, with a white or yellow center and a red border. Canker sores can be painful and make it difficult to eat or talk. Although canker sores are not contagious, they often occur in groups of two or three.
This condition is most common in teenagers and young adults, and women are more likely to experience them than men. Although canker sores can affect anyone, people with a family history of the disorder are more likely to develop them. In addition, some people may experience recurrent or chronic canker sore outbreaks.
Several over-the-counter treatments can help to speed healing and reduce pain, including topical creams, ointments, or gels. These products typically contain ingredients that numb the area or provide a barrier between the sore and the surrounding tissue. In addition, it is vital to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid spicy or acidic foods, as these can irritate the ulcer and prolong healing. With proper treatment, most canker sores will heal within a week or two. Here are the most common canker sore causes:
There are several possible causes of canker sores. An injury may trigger them to the tissues in the mouth, such as from a dental procedure or teeth cleaning. Stress and certain foods may also contribute to canker sore formation. For instance, acidic foods can also trigger canker sores by irritating the delicate tissues in your mouth.
You should see your doctor if you have mouth sores with symptoms such as fever, physical sluggishness, and swollen lymph nodes following a mouth injury. This could be a sign of a more severe condition, such as an infection. It is best to seek medical attention if your canker sore does not improve after two weeks.
While it is impossible always to prevent canker sores, addressing these common predisposing factors can help reduce your risk of developing them. It is essential to keep your immune system healthy by eating a balanced diet and addressing any medical problems that could affect your nutrition or immunity. You should also avoid food allergens and protect the tissues lining the inside of your mouth from friction and trauma by wearing a mouthguard during contact sports or activities and a nightguard during sleep.