What is a Canker Sore?

An aphthous ulcer, or canker sore, is an open and usually painful mouth ulcer or sore that is the most common kind of mouth ulcer! Some individuals tend to notice them along the insides of their lips or cheeks, and they are normally yellow or white in color, surrounded by red, inflamed tissue. They result in an oval-shaped ulcer, a painful red area, and a tingling sensation in your mouth. Some cases might result in symptoms of swollen lymph nodes and fever.

it’s important to know that canker sores are not contagious, and they generally heal on their own within one to three weeks – though the pain tends to commence after seven to 10 days. That being said, some canker sores have been known to take up to six weeks to heal. Additionally, they are commonly caused by a list of triggers: viral infection, stress, hormonal fluctuation, food allergies, menstrual cycle, vitamin deficiencies, or mouth injuries. Sometimes they occur without a known cause.

How to Treat a Canker Sore

Normally, these sores tend to heal without the need for treatment. That being said, there are many ways one can treat them to help reduce the pain and also get rid of them quicker. Brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis will help to prevent a bacterial infection in general, and when a canker sore has developed, avoiding the consumption of spicy foods will help speed the sore’s healing time.

Milk, yogurt, ice, and ice cream can all be eaten to help reduce the pain of the sore. You can also try gargling salt water or mouthwash. There are several over-the-counter medications that can help heal the sore, including benzocaine, hydrogen peroxide rinses, and fluocinonide. You can also see your dentist and follow their recommended prescription.

How to Prevent Canker Sores

Identifying the reason for why the canker sore appeared in the first place will help you know the best way to prevent it. For instance, if your sore developed due to a food allergy, then avoiding that food could help prevent an outbreak. Spicy, salty, or acidic foods are often the cause.

If stress is what caused your sore to develop, then you might want to start implementing some stress reduction methods and other calming techniques to help prevent any future sores. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or exercise.

Having regular, healthy oral health practices will also help prevent these sores. Brush your teeth often with a soft toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums. Floss daily and utilize a good fluoride. (2)


If canker sores are a common occurrence for you and you are unable to identify their cause, try talking to your doctor in order to determine if you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or if perhaps you have some unknown allergy. Your doctor might be able to help you find the best diet plan and even prescribe supplements that you need. Large sores, excruciating pain, a high fever, a rash, hives, or diarrhea are all reasons to seek medical help.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/symptoms-causes/syc-20370615
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320015.php