Canker Sore

A canker sore is a painful, open sore in the mouth and is white or yellow, surrounded by a bright red area. These sores are not cancer and do not cause cancer. Some types of cancer may first appear as a mouth ulcer that does not heal. They usually appear on the inner surface of the lips and cheek, the tongue, soft palate, and the base of the gums.

These sores are a common form of mouth ulcer and occur more often in women than men. They usually first appear between the ages of 10 and 40 years old, but may occur at any age.

These sores may occur in your mouth after injury due to biting the tongue or cheek, dental work or aggressive tooth cleaning. They may be linked to immune system problems and can run in families.

These sores may be brought on by emotional stress, menstrual periods, hormonal changes, dietary deficiencies, such as iron, vitamin B-12, or folic acid, and food allergies. Viral infections are the most common cause. The cause may not be identified in some cases.

Canker sore pain decreases in 7 to 10 days. Complete healing occurs in 1 to 3 weeks. Large ulcers may take up to 2 to 4 weeks to heal. They usually heal on their own.

Tea tree oil is helpful in the healing of these sores by either applying the oil with a Q-tip or making a mixture of tea tree oil and water and swishing and spitting the mixture.

If symptoms of the sores persist or worsen after home treatment consult your doctor.

Diagram of Mouth and Teeth
Diagram of Mouth and Teeth

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The information on is not offered for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease or disorder nor have any statements herein been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We strongly encourage you to discuss topics of concern with your health care provider

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