7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

There are few things more painful than canker sores. They can make it hard to eat or talk! And while these open sores aren’t contagious or cancerous, they’re still very annoying. You can put your mind at ease by learning about the different types, causes, and symptoms. Here are seven facts that you need to know.

7 Facts About Canker Sores

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1. Sores Can Be Minor Or Major

Sores Can Be Minor Or Major: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

The most common canker sores are minor canker sores. They’re small, oval, and go away within one to three weeks.1 They don’t leave any scars. Major canker sores, although less common, can also occur. These are much larger, very painful, and may hang around for about weeks. When it heals, scars are likely.2

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2. Sores Can Also Form In Clusters

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Herpetiform canker sores are the third kind. They’re tiny, but crop up as clusters of 10 to 100 sores. Eventually, they might grow into a single big ulcer. And while herpetiform canker sores aren’t common, older people typically get them. It takes one to two weeks for the sores to heal.3

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3. Tingling Sensation Occurs Before They Appear

Tingling Sensation Occurs Before They Appear: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

A tingling sensation before a canker sore crops up is a common symptom. It might feel like something is tickling you!4 Keep this in mind if you are prone to canker sores. It’s a good way to prepare by

avoiding foods that irritate it. Examples include spicy, hot, and acidic foods.

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4. They Are White Or Yellow

They Are White Or Yellow: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

Most of these pesky ulcers have a white or yellow center with a red border.5 It’s likely that the surrounding area will also be red and irritated. But once they start to heal, the color will turn a light gray.6

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5. Fever Is Not Common

Fever Is Not Common: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

A high fever isn’t a usual symptom of canker sores. Swollen lymph nodes and physical lethargy are also not common. But if any of these symptoms happen, be sure to check with your doctor. There might be a more

complicated condition at play.7

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6. The Cause Is Unknown

The Cause Is Unknown: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

Canker sores aren’t caused by a single disease. They can develop after accidentally biting your lip or brushing too hard. Food sensitivities, stress, menstruation, and vitamin B-12 deficiency can also be the reason. Even using certain toothpastes and mouthwashes can result in canker sores. Sometimes, having a suppressed immune system from another disease can be an indirect cause.8

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7. Canker Sores Are Not Cold Sores

Canker Sores Are Not Cold Sores: 7 Things You Need To Know About Canker Sores

They are both very different. Canker sores usually occur along the inside of the cheeks, lips, tongue, gums, and top

of mouth. Meanwhile, cold sores happen around the lips.9 Cold sores also caused by the herpes simplex virus, making them super contagious. Fever and swollen lymph nodes are common symptoms that happen right before an outbreak.10

To speed up healing, rinse your mouth with ½ cup water with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Salt water can also do the trick.11 If a canker sore persists or gets even bigger, make an appointment with your doctor.