Differing from cold sores, aphthous ulcers (canker sores) only appear in the inside of the mouth, are not contagious.

This type of sore can often be recognized by their oval shape with a red border, and usually a white, gray or yellow center. Although very painful, most canker sores will heal without treatment in a short time.

Almost one in five of the population suffer from canker sores.

What causes canker sores?
Though doctors aren’t totally certain what causes canker sores, one factor that is suspected is heredity. Canker sores typically afflict those ages ten to twenty years old and affect women almost twice as much as men. Some links have been discovered between canker sores and stress, and they frequently show up at the location where the mouth has been injured. Links have been discovered between canker sores and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a component of a lot of types of toothpaste, also. Lastly, canker sores may be a sign of an issue with the immune system.

Canker sores come in three varieties. While the majority of canker sores are minor ones, there are also major and herpetiform canker sores. The Mayo Clinic has more to read about these other types on their page on canker sores.

Treatment for a canker sore
No treatment is typically needed if you are suffering from a minor canker sore. There are a few actions you can take to avoid further pain, though.
– Avoid spicy foods as well as those that could be hard or scratchy, as these will aggravate the wound.
– Don’t brush the sore with your toothbrush, and use a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate.

To prevent canker sores
– Watch out for the types of food that have a tendency to irritate your mouth.
– Make sure you’re getting proper nutrition
—Avoid vitamin deficiency
– Protect your mouth from injury
-For those who have braces, orthodontic wax can help
– Reduce or eliminate stress.

Call your doctor or speak to Dr. Gradeless if you are suffering from a canker sore that is especially painful or unusually large or one that doesn’t seem to heal.