Let me just begin by clarifying that canker sores, which occur inside the mouth, are not contagious like cold sores and they have no relation to the herpes virus.
These painful little ulcers can happen anywhere on the soft tissue surfaces inside the mouth – tongue, gums and cheeks. The sores are usually red, but may have a white coating over them.
Anyone can get canker sores, but they seem most prevalent in women in their 20s and can run in families. However, the cause of canker sores remains a mystery, researchers believe they could be caused by the following things:
- Faulty immune system function
- Nutritional problems, such as a deficiency of vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid or iron
- A disease of the gastrointestinal tract
- Food allergies
- Menstrual periods
To see how to treat those painful buggers just read more
Most canker sores disappear on their own in about two weeks. For pain relief, you can try taking ibuprofen. Some people find relief by: sucking on zinc lozenges, taking supplements of the amino acid lysine, or rinsing with a sage-chamomile mouthwash.
Fit's Tips: You should seek medical advice if: a fever accompanies your canker sores, the sores last longer than three weeks, the pain cannot be managed with self care measures, or they prevent you from drinking enough fluids.
You can help reduce the pain also by avoiding irritants like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), sometime used in toothpaste, and spicy food.