Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention of Canker Sores

Image by Freepik


Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers in medicine, are painful, superficial lesions that develop inside the mouth. They are normally harmless and not contagious, but they can be rather unpleasant. The purpose of this paper is to provide a thorough overview of canker sores, including their causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Canker Sores Causes:

1. Local Trauma:
Minor oral injuries, such as accidental biting, hard dental work, or excessive cleaning, can cause canker sores to emerge.

2. Stress:
Canker sores are frequently triggered by psychological stress. The precise mechanisms linking stress to their growth are unknown, although the correlation is well established.

3. Dietary Factors:
Consuming acidic or spicy meals, for example, might irritate the oral tissues and potentially contribute to canker sores.

4. Hormonal Changes:
Some people develop canker sores as a result of hormonal variations, especially during menstruation.

5. Allergies:
In some situations, allergic reactions to items such as toothpaste, mouthwash, or certain foods can trigger canker sores.

6. Genetics:
There is evidence that hereditary factors may play a role in a person's susceptibility to canker sores. If you have a family history of recurrent canker sores, you are more likely to get them.

Canker Sores Symptoms:

Canker sores vary in size and intensity, but they all share the following features -

1. Discomfort:
Canker sores are well-known for their discomfort. The pain can range from minor to severe, making it difficult to eat and speak.

2. Round or Oval Shape:
Canker sores are often round or oval in shape, with a red border and a white or yellowish core.

3. Inside the Mouth:
Canker sores form inside the mouth, as opposed to cold sores, which appear outside the mouth on or near the lips. They might appear on the tongue, gums, cheeks, or mouth roof.

4. Tenderness:
The tissues around the wound may become irritated and sensitive.

5. Time to Heal:
Canker sores usually heal on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. They may go through formation, ulceration, and then slow healing stages.

Canker Sore Treatment:

While canker sores usually heal on their own, there are a few home treatments and drugs that can help control the pain and promote speedier healing -

1. OTC Products:
Oral gels, creams, and lozenges containing active substances such as benzocaine can provide short pain relief.

2. Prescription Medications:
Severe or recurring canker sores may necessitate the use of prescription medications such as corticosteroids or antibacterial mouthwashes.

3. Topical Ointments:
Some topical ointments can help relieve pain and inflammation.

4. Home Remedies:
Rinsing with saltwater or a baking soda solution might help relieve canker sores. Avoiding irritating or acidic meals might also help with healing.

5. Avoid Triggers:
Recognizing and avoiding potential triggers, such as stressors or food irritants, can aid in the prevention of recurring canker sores.

Canker Sore Prevention:

Although canker sores are difficult to completely avoid, there are things you can do to lessen their occurrence -

1. Stress Management:
To reduce psychological stress, use stress-reduction strategies such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.

2. Dietary Changes:
Avoid or limit foods that are known to cause canker sores, such as acidic or spicy meals.

3. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene:
Good oral hygiene, such as gentle brushing and flossing, can help avoid minor oral injuries that can lead to canker sores.

4. Toothpaste and Mouthwash Selection:
Choose toothpaste and mouthwash without components to which you may be allergic.

5. Dental Checkups:
Regular dental checkups can aid in the identification and treatment of probable sources of mouth irritation.


Canker sores, while unpleasant, are usually harmless and heal on their own after a week or two. Understanding the potential causes, recognizing the symptoms, and knowing how to manage and prevent them can all help people deal with these unpleasant but common oral lesions. If you have canker sores that are frequent, severe, or especially persistent, you should see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical concerns.

Post a Comment