Canker sores affect nearly one in five of the population.
Differing from cold sores, canker sores (also known as aphthous ulcers) are not contagious and only appear in the inside of the mouth.
You can recognize this type of sore by their oval shape with a red border. They ordinarily have a gray, yellow or white center. While painful, most canker sores will go away without treatment in a short time.
The actual causes of canker sores are unclear, though heredity is a factor. Women are affected almost twice as much as men by these sores and they tend to afflict people ages 10–20 years old. Some links have been found between canker sores and stress, and they regularly occur at the site where the mouth has been injured. Links have been found between canker sores and sodium lauryl sulfate, a component of many types of mouthwashes and toothpaste, as well. And, lastly, canker sores might be a sign of an immune system issue.
The three types of canker sores are minor, major and herpetiform canker sores. Most occurrences are minor canker sores. The Mayo Clinic has more to read about these other types on their website.
Dealing with a canker sore
If you are suffering from a minor canker sore, no treatment is typically required. There are some actions you can take to avoid additional pain, however.
- Avoid foods that could be hard or scratchy, as well as spicy foods, as these will aggravate the wound.
- Consider using a toothpaste without SLS and don't use your toothbrush on the canker sore.
Ways to avoid getting a canker sore
- Keep away from the kinds of food which can irritate your mouth.
- Make sure you're getting good nutrition and are avoiding vitamin deficiency
- Defend your mouth against cuts-For individuals who have braces, orthodontic wax can help
- Reduce your stress.
Make an appointment with your doctor or with Dr. Sachs if you have a canker sore that doesn't seem to heal, or is painful or larger than normal.