Know the basics
What are canker sores?
A canker sore, or aphthous ulcer, is a mouth ulcer or sore that’s small, white, yellow or red color surround. They develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. Unlike cold sores, canker sores don’t occur on the surface of your lips and they aren’t contagious.
How common are canker sores?
Canker sores are extremely common. They can affect patients at any age. They can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of canker sores?
The common symptoms of canker sores are:
- A small, oval-shaped ulcer that’s white or yellow;
- A painful red area in your mouth;
- A tingling sensation in your mouth.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Large sores;
- An outbreak of sores;
- Excruciating pain;
- A high fever;
- A rash;
- A headache.
Know the causes
What cause canker sores?
- A minor injury to your mouth such as overzealous brushing, sports mishaps, accidental cheek bite;
- Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods;
- Lack of vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron;
- An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth;
- Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers;
- Hormonal shifts during menstruation;
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for canker sores?
There are many risk factors for canker sores, such as:
- Family history;
- Teens and young adults;
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How are canker sores diagnosed?
Your doctor or dentist can identify them with a visual exam since tests aren’t needed to diagnose canker sores. In severe cases, you may have tests such as blood test, the biopsy to check for other health problems.
How are canker sores treated?
Canker sores normally heal without treatment. If the pain is severe, these following treatments will be prescribed:
- An antimicrobial mouth rinse;
- Nutritional supplements (folate, vitamin b6, vitamin b12, zinc);
- A prescription ointment (benzocaine, fluocinonide, hydrogen peroxide);
- A corticosteroid mouthwash (dexamethasone).
Lifestyle changes & Home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage canker sores?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with canker sores:
- Rinse your mouth by using salt water or baking soda;
- Dab a small amount of milk of magnesia;
- Avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods;
- Apply ice to your canker sores;
- Brush your teeth gently.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Canker sore. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20021262 . Accessed September 18, 2016
Canker sore. http://www.healthline.com/health/canker-sores#Treatments6. Accessed September 18, 2016
Review Date: September 28, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019