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Everything you'd want to know about Canker Sores

November 03, 2009

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are oral ulcers that can appear on the gums, under the tongue, or inside the cheeks.  If you’re unfamiliar, canker sores are those round white bumps with the red ring around them.  They are painful to the touch, and they sometimes make eating and talking very difficult and unpleasant. There are many possible contributions to their formation, including citrus fruits, lack of sleep, illness, physical trauma, hormonal changes, menstruation, sudden weight loss, food allergies, immune system reactions, etc.  However, the exact cause is still unknown. Luckily, canker sores usually heal on their own in a week or two, with the pain residing after a few days.    There are also a few ways to prevent their formation as well.  For instance, acidic and spicy foods cause irritations that can lead to canker sores, so avoiding those foods that irritate the mouth is a good way to prevent sores.  Also, trauma to the mouth, like cheek or tongue biting, can lead to their formation, so be careful when you’re eating or chewing gum. Mouthwashes and toothpastes containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can also lead to canker sores, so look for oral care products that are SLS-free like Squigle Enamel Saver or Squigle Tooth Builder toothpastes. Canker sores can also become severe, which may be a sign of other medical problems.  If a severe canker sore doesn’t heal itself in a few weeks, it might be a good idea to see your doctor.