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What You Should Know & How To Cure Canker Sores Fast?

Have you ever experienced a painful sore inside your mouth that makes eating and speaking difficult?

You may have encountered a canker sore.

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small lesions that form on the soft tissues of the mouth or at the gum line.

In this blog post, we will discuss three types of canker sores: minor apthous ulcers, major aphthous ulcers and herpetiform ulcers.

We'll cover their causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention tips.

If you're interested in learning more about these irritating sores, keep reading!
Table of Contents

Common Signs

They usually manifest as:
unpleasant redness in the mouth.
an ulcer in the mouth, typically small and white or yellow and oval.
slight burning sensation in the ulcer area.

Some patients may also experience the following symptoms:
Rise in body temperature
Lymph nodes enlargement
Canker sores are not transmissible. Without therapy, they typically heal on their own in 1–3 weeks, but most people feel better within 7–10 days. Healing time for severe canker sores can be up to six weeks. Citrus fruits can help speed up the healing process and provide relief from the discomfort associated with canker sores.

Common Sites

They usually occur on the:
inside of the cheeks
soft palate
base of the gums
below the surface of the tongue

Clinical Features of Different Canker Sores


Most of those who get canker sores will only develop minor ones. Even though they can be painful, they usually heal on their own in 1 to 2 weeks without leaving scars.
Minor canker sores often cause the following symptoms:
May manifest as a single ulcer.
A feeling of tingling or burning.
Little, oval-shaped protrusions within the mouth.
Size: 2-3 mm in diameter.


Major aphthous stomatitis is not as prevalent as mild canker sores, but they can be more painful when they appear. Scarring is possible, and the healing process may take up to four weeks.
Major canker sores often cause the following symptoms:
Intense pain.
May manifest in single or in pairs.
Huge, circular protuberances within the mouth.
Having trouble with eating or drinking.
Discomfort, redness, or swelling.
Size: 5mm to a centimeter in diameter.


It is quite rare to have herpetiform canker sores. This form of canker sores only affects around 5% of people.

They are called herpetiform aphthous ulcers because they look like the herpes virus. However, they do not occur because of herpes simplex virus.
Herpetiform canker sores often cause the following symptoms:
May manifest closer to hundred.
Multiple tiny lesions coalesce to form asymmetrical ulcers.
Mouth pain that may range from tingling to burning.
Size: 1-2 mm in diameter.

Cause of Canker Sores

Although canker sores have uncertain etiologies, researchers believe that several external factors, including nutritional deficiencies, contribute to ulcer development.
Some external factors include:
Chronic stress
Viral infections because of herpes simplex, HIV
Abnormality in genes
Certain autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
Hormonal changes, especially in females
Deficiencies in vitamins or minerals
Mechanical causes due to sharp edges of braces, fillings, cheek biting, etc
Toothpastes that include sodium lauryl sulfate

Risk Factors

They are more prevalent among adolescents, young adults, and females.

Certain deficiencies in vitamin B and minerals such as iron, zinc or folic acid can trigger the onset of canker sores and vitamin deficiencies.


The diagnosis is based mostly on the patient’s medical history and physical examination, although the following specialized tests could also be done:
Blood tests such as CBC (complete blood count)
Biopsy (for large ulcers)
Bacterial and viral culture test

Treatment for a Canker Sore

Most persons with aphthous stomatitis have very mild symptoms and require no treatment at all.
Altering one’s diet, such as avoiding acidic foods and beverages, including spicy foods, may ease the discomfort for many people.
However, there are also medications to reduce discomfort, promote healing, and prevent the onset of recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
Topical medications such as Orabase, chlorhexidine gluconate may reduce pain and speed up the healing process.
Patients with long-standing ulcers that are resistant to topical therapy and have a high risk of recurrence are the only ones who should consider systemic medications.


Although canker sores can return, you may lessen their recurrence by following these guidelines:
Avoid meals that seem to cause oral irritation.
Consume an abundance of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dietary meat to avoid vitamin or mineral deficiency.
When looking for a new toothpaste or mouthwash, look for one without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
If you wear braces or any other dental appliances, make sure its sharp edges do not cause oral irritation. If it causes irritation, consult with a dentist.
If you think stress causes your canker sores, learn and use ways, to deal with stress.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

A white or yellow patch shows up on the tongue or in the lips. It can also be on the soft palate, the tonsils, or on the floor of the mouth. The symptoms of an aphthous ulcer aren’t too bad, and it rarely endangers one’s life. If you think you have an aphthous ulcer, see your doctor so he or she can diagnose and treat it.

How can I treat canker sores naturally?

Some natural home remedies to treat canker sores are:

• Apply a drop of tea tree oil and allow the oil to seep into the ulcer tissue. Be cautious from swallowing the tea tree oil.
• Honey may help fight infections and reduce swelling. Putting a drop of honey on your canker sores can help ease the discomfort right away.
• If swelling is present, ice the area for a few minutes.
• Rinse with warm salt water to further ease pain and inflammation.
• Over-the-counter medications such as milk of magnesia in combination with antihistamines might help to reduce the symptoms of canker sores.
• Consume fruits and vegetables to boost the immune system in order to get rid of canker sores.
• Exercise regularly to minimize stress.

What should I do if my mouth swells up after getting a canker sore?

If you get a canker sore, drink plenty of fluids and avoid acidic foods. Apply ice packs to the affected area several times per day. Suck on garlic or onion bulbs to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Should I see a doctor if my mouth swells up and there is no improvement within a few days?

If you have recently been experiencing swelling in your mouth and there is no improvement, it is important to see a doctor. Most times, swollen ulcers are a symptom of a more serious condition, such as cancer or infection. The doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to identify the cause of swelling and offer your treatment options.

Can topical creams or ointments help treat canker sores?

Topical creams and ointments can help treat canker sores in a few simple steps. First, you should notice signs of a canker sore - like pain when chewing or swallowing, redness and swelling around the sore area. Once you have noticed these signs, apply the topical cream or ointment as soon as possible. Make sure to cover the entire sore area with the cream or ointment. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use of the cream or ointment and consult your doctor.


Canker sores can be quite painful and frustrating, but there are several ways to deal with them.

By learning about the different causes and prevention of canker sores, you can keep the pain and discomfort out of the equation.

In the future, maintain your immune system strong, by avoiding foods and beverages that can trigger canker sores.

Try to consult with a healthcare provider, if you have any symptoms related to canker sores.