What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are a type of shallow ulcer which is appearing in the mouth and often make eating and drinking uncomfortable. Approx 20%-40% of the U.S. population have them at some point in their lives, and many people will have multiple episodes of canker sores. Unless it is a recurrent problem, no workup or treatment is really needed. They are not contagious. There are two types of canker sores:
1. Simple canker sores. These may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. They typically occur in people between 10 and 20 years of age.
2. Complex canker sores. These are less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them.
What are the causes of canker sores?
Doctors don’t know exactly what the basic causes of canker sores are. Canker sores are not the result of any viral or bacterial infection, they are auto immune which means that your body attacking itself. There are some possible causes for canker sores:
1. A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps, spicy or acidic food or an accidental cheek bite.
2. Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberry, eggs, nuts, cheese and highly acidic food such as pineapple.
3. A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron.
4. Emotional stress.
5. An allergic response to certain bacteria in the mouth.
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if you experience:
- Unusually large canker sores.
- Recurring sores, with new ones developing before old ones heal.
- High fever along with canker sores.
- Extreme difficulty in eating or drinking.
- Pain that you can’t control with self-care measures.
If you experience any of these symptoms then please contact us at AOK Emergency Room Houston. The physicians at AOK Emergency Room will diagnose your problem very effectively and suggest the best possible ways to recover.