Do You Have a Canker Sore?

Showing up only in the inside of the mouth, as opposed to cold sores, aphthous ulcers (canker sores) aren’t contagious.

Canker sores affect approximately twenty percent (1 in 5) of people.

These sores can typically be recognized by their oval shape with a red border, and usually a white, gray or yellow center. While very painful, most canker sores will go away by themselves in a short time.

Possible causes:

Though researchers aren’t 100% certain what causes canker sores to appear, heredity is believed to be a factor. They typically afflict those between the ages of 10–20 years old and affect women almost twice as much as men. Some links have been identified between stress and canker sores, and they often occur at the site where the mouth has been injured. Connections have been discovered between canker sores and sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical found in a lot of types of mouthwashes and toothpaste, as well. Lastly, canker sores could be an indication of a problem of the immune system.

Minor, major and herpetiform canker sores are the three types of canker sores. Minor canker sores are the most common. You can read more about these types on the Mayo Clinic website.


No treatment is typically needed if you are suffering from a minor canker sore. There are a couple of actions you can take to reduce additional pain, though.
– Don’t eat spicy foods as well as those that could be scratchy or hard, as these will irritate the wound.
– Don’t brush the sore with a toothbrush, and try using a toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

How to keep from getting a canker sore

– Keep away from foods that have a tendency to irritate your mouth.
– Be sure to have good nutrition—avoid vitamin deficiency
– For individuals with braces, orthodontic wax can protect your mouth from cuts.
– Reduce things that cause you stress.

Make an appointment with our dentists at Olney Dental Center or with your doctor if you have a canker sore that doesn’t seem to heal, or is painful or unusually large.

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