What Causes Canker Sores?

What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores are small ulcers that appear on soft tissues inside of the mouth. No injury is necessary for a canker sore to form, but these ulcers are also not caused by viruses or bacteria. However, other causes have been determined and are worth remembering when these sores do appear. Here is an overview of what causes canker sores and what you should do if you develop one.

Canker Sore Causes

The process that leads to canker sore formation is still not fully understood, but causes for canker sores have been observed for a long time. While injuries often do not occur before canker sores form, they do sometimes precede them. Some people also tend to get them after eating spicy or sour foods. Vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12 and C, can also be a cause. Finally, immune problems caused by celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and stress may lead to canker sores.

What to Do if You Get a Canker Sore

Canker sores often disappear on their own within a week or so after they form. If you develop one, you may be able to limit the time it lasts by avoiding things that could irritate it. Hot, sour, and acidic foods may be best avoided during this time. To minimize infection risk when a canker sore is present, rinse with salt water regularly.

The reasons for canker sores are not always clear, but you can help limit your own risk of this problem by identifying your own canker sore triggers. Using good dental hygiene may also help with prevention and can reduce your chances of developing an infection from an existing canker sore.