What Are Canker Sores?

Canker sores are white, painful patches/ulcers that develop in the mouth on the tongue, around the gum or lip area. Canker sores are painful and can cause difficulty while chewing and talking. These are not contagious and need no formal medical treatment.

Let us now briefly talk about the types of canker sores.

Two types of Canker Sores

Simple Canker Sores:In terms of severity of the subject, sores that develop in this type are typically smaller, less painful and usually go away within a week’s time.

Complex Canker Sores:In this type, sores are larger and more painful. They can take up-to six weeks or more for complete healing. In some cases, there may be scarring post sores.

5 Reasons Why People Get Canker Sores

Mouth Injury

Canker sores are small ulcers that can develop because of mouth injury. Tissue inflammation and bruises can be caused by harsh brushing, excessive acidic food or dietary triggers, accidental bites, injuries due to dental equipment, harsh mouthwashes, ill fitted dentures or poor oral hygiene.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Canker sores are caused and even triggered by certain nutritional deficiencies. Some examples are folic acid, zinc, iron, calcium and vitamin deficiency. If you experience recurrent and severe episodes of canker sores, it is best to seek a thorough medical assessment for a definite diagnosis and treatment.

Poor Immune System

Research suggests that canker sores are also closely related to weakened immune systems. A compromised immune system can cause canker sores to develop and heighten in severity.


One main factor that contributes to the development of canker sores is compromised mental well-being. Stress and depression can affect the immune system increasing the likelihood of canker sores in individuals.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes, especially in women can be a defining reason for canker sores. These hormonal changes can be characterized by menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause etc.

Treatment and Management Ways

Canker sores can be managed at home or with suitable over the counter (OTC) medicines. Some of the common treatment ways are listed below:

  • Topical oral gels and ointments.
  • Antimicrobial mouthwashes.
  • Proper nutritional diet or supplements.
  • Ice pack application to reduce inflammation and get instant relief.
  • Avoid dietary triggers such as spicy and acidic foods.
  • Stress reduction techniques like yoga and meditation.
  • Prescribed antibiotics or medicines.
  • Practicing a good oral hygiene routine.


Canker sores are ulcers that develop in the mouth. This medical issue is not contagious nor consequential. It may however cause discomfort and pain. Common causes that may increase susceptibility of the issue include nutritional deficiency, mouth injury, weakened immune system, stress and hormonal changes.

If you develop recurring and severe symptoms that don’t go away on their own, contactPorter Smiles Dentalat281 519 7200to schedule a consultation for thorough diagnosis and treatment.