Causes of
Canker Sores

If you’ve ever had a canker sore you know that they are not fun. In fact they can really ruin your day. They affect how you eat your food, drink liquid, and brush your teeth and they seem like they take forever to get rid of. We wanted to identify some causes of canker sores to possibly help you to avoid them in the future.

Canker sores are those painful ulcers that form on the inside of the mouth, on the tongue or inside the cheek or lips. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Well it is. Medical experts say they don’t know the precise cause but we have some ideas.

Anyone can get a canker sore. However they usually occur more often in teens and young adults and can even be more common in people with underlying medical issues that are known to cause inflammation or weaken the immune system.

Some causes may be viruses, bacterial infections, food allergies, poor nutrition, a weakened immune system, an injury or trauma to the mouth. Hereditary factors may also play a role. May studies have been conducted that have found a link between stress and canker sores. People tend to have outbreaks of canker sores when they experience stress, which can take a toll on the immune system.

Foods have also been linked to canker sores. Avoid trigger foods. Spicy and acidic foods, such as coffee, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple can cause outbreaks or worsen canker sores by aggravating the sensitive tissue inside your mouth. Salty pretzels and chips, nuts, strawberries, chocolate and cheese can also be problematic for some people.

Sometimes canker sores happen whether you have any of the above mentioned factors or not. But these might help you to avoid them:

  • Relax. Lower your stress and anxiety levels
  • Chew carefully: Avoid small mouth injuries
  • Watch what you eat: Avoid spicy and acidic foods
  • Treat it: Canker sore pain relief can be found at a nearby drugstore
  • Proper dental hygiene: Keeping your mouth clean can help prevent bacteria from spreading and irritating an already present canker sore

Although canker sores can be irritating and painful they are relatively harmless. If you tend to get canker sores often it’s time to evaluate what you can change. Maybe you tend to lean toward spicy and acidic foods. Maybe your stress level is higher than normal. Whatever it may be see what you can do to change it. It will be worth the effort. In the mean time, contact Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown of The Perio Group for a periodontal exam in order to identify any underlying oral health issues.