All You Need to Know About Canker Sores

February 26, 2016 by Dr. Emanuel Blog

A canker sore is medically known as an aphthous ulcer and it’s a type of mouth ulcer. They are most common in women and young adults, and are responsible for the majority of mouth related complaints. It is estimated that around 20-30% of the population experience Canker sores on a regular basis.

How are canker sores caused?

Science has yet to explain the specific reasons for why canker sores occur. However, here are some factors that have been linked with canker sores:
• Stress
• A lack of nutrients – most notably vitamin B12 and folic acid
• Hypersensitivity to food
• Use of drugs
• Physical trauma
• Changes to hormone levels

Canker sores are also linked with many other medical conditions such as nutritional deficiency, allergies, compromised immunity and inflammatory bowel disease.


Canker sore symptoms

Below are some of symptoms that indicate that you may or may not have or have had a canker sore:
• Fades to gray as time goes on
• Stays for a week before it begins to heal up
• Affects gums and very rarely the surface at the back of the mouth
• The common affected areas are sides of the tongue, inside of cheeks or lip and the front portion of the mouth.
• Its physical appearance has a yellow-gray center that’s surrounded by an inflammatory red margin.
• It’s typically only a centimeter across and has a well-defined round shape

When to get a doctor involved

For most people there is no need to see a doctor due to a canker sore. However, here are some signs that you may need to do so:
• The sore has been persistent for over two weeks without any signs of disappearing
• The sore is progressively getting worse
• The sores appear more than 3 times per year and/or appear in large numbers
• Other symptoms are present such as skin rashes, headaches, diarrhea or fever

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