Canker Sores: What They Are & How to Get Rid of Them

You know those little sores that are extremely annoying and pop up in your mouth? Otherwise known as canker sores, they are officially described by WebMD as small, shallow ulcers that appear in your mouth. You can easily tell if you have a canker sore coming on; it will be either on the inside of your cheek, tongue or even the roof of your mouth with an awful tingling or burning sensation! It's usually round with a white, gray or red edge. People often confuse canker sores with cold sores, but cold sores are fever blisters that are just as painful but are filled with fluid. Cold sores are also a type of herpes and can appear outside of the mouth. Back to the subject at hand though: canker sores!

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canker sore

There are two types of canker sores: simple and complex. You can get simple canker sores up to three or four times a year and they can linger for up to a week. They usually occur in people between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. Complex canker sores are usually less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them. They can be caused by an underlying health problem like an iron deficiency, an impaired immune system or even celiac or Crohn's disease.

So far, there is no specific cause for canker sores. Some doctors believe that stress or tissue injury can cause simple canker sores. There are some foods that are known to trigger canker sores and make them worse like lemons, oranges, pineapples and tomatoes.

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Since canker sores heal in a short amount of time, people often let them heal on their own. But the pain from that small canker sore can be so irritating! So when you feel like you can't wait around for it to heal, you could easily get a pain-numbing oral gel from your local drug store, or you could try a few home remedies: (via Everyday Roots)

  • Apply coconut oil directly to your canker sore.
  • Dab some honey onto the canker sore.
  • Try swishing an aloe rinse around your mouth.
  • Press a chamomile tea bag on your canker sore!

In combination with those home remedies, you should definitely avoid certain foods like citrus fruits, acidic vegetables and spicy foods so as not to irritate the canker sore. Keep your mouth free of foods by flossing and brushing your teeth after every meal, and you should also avoid chewing gum. That will ensure that your canker sore goes away as quickly and painlessly as possible!

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If the pain gets worse and the canker sore becomes larger, you should talk to your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if the canker sore lasts for three weeks, if it spreads or if you have a high fever.