Canker Sores 101

Canker sores are a fact of life for many people. Nobody wants to talk about them but knowledge is power so here’s the skinny on canker sores. 

Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that form inside your mouth (different from cold sores which appear outside the mouth, on the lips). They usually have a white or gray base with a red border. Canker sores can make eating and talking uncomfortable.

The cause of canker sores is unknown and women are more likely than men to have canker sores that recur. Fortunately canker sores, unlike cold sores, are not contagious.

Different people may have different triggers that are thought to cause canker sores. Here are some things that may put you at risk for canker sores:

  • Fatigue & Stress
  • Some acidic foods
  • Menstrual period
  • A cut on the inside of your cheek or on your tongue
  • Allergies
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease

Canker sores most often will heal all on their own in one to three weeks. If you get a large sore (larger than a half inch, or about the size of a dime) you should see your dentist, you may need medicine to treat it.
Here are some hints to help with pain caused by canker sores:

  • Avoid hot, spicy foods
  • Use mild mouthwashes or rinse your mouth with salt water
  • Try over-the-counter pain medicines

So far there is no proven way to prevent canker sores. If you find that you are getting canker sores frequently talk with Dr. Babin, together you may be able to pinpoint a cause and identify some treatments that will work for you. Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to book an appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online.