Canker sores are also known as aphthous sores and are the most common type of mouth ulcers. They mostly occur on the inside of the lips or cheek and are mostly whitish or yellowish in color. The sores are mostly surrounded by inflamed, reddish soft tissue. Canker sores commonly appear between the age of 10 and 20 years. They may be create a tingling sensation in the mouth that makes eating, talking or swallowing difficult. In some cases, canker sores may cause general malaise and headache.

Reasons behind canker sores

Any kind of viral infection

Unhygienic brushing habits, such as not cleaning the mouth often or well enough.

Hormonal fluctuations, especially during the menstrual cycle

Inadequate rest and sleep

Low immunity


Food allergy

Deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals

Some kind of mouth injuryIll-fitted dental appliances such as braces or dentures.

Acidic or spicy food.

Types of canker sores and symptoms

Canker sores are mainly of two types

Simple canker sores:

These may occur twice or thrice in a year and can heal without treatment within a span of 3 to 4 weeks.

Complex canker sores: 

These sores generally appear in the elderly, mostly in those who have a history of frequent sores. These may be accompanied by swelling of lymph nodes, very painful sores, high fever, headache, fatigue and general illness. Inflammation and infection of the ulcers may also occur if not diagnosed and treated on time.

Ways canker sores can be treated

Antimicrobial mouth wash to rinse the mouth

Antibiotic mouthwashes or oral pills

Corticosteroid ointments can be applied on the affected area to reduce the inflammation and promote rapid healing.

Drinking milk, consuming yoghurt or ice cream is known to provide relief.

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