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What Are Canker Sores and Why Do You Keep Getting Them?

Posted on 3/1/2024 by Weo Admin
Close up of a beautiful smileCanker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are painful lesions on soft mouth tissues. They appear as white or yellowish spots with a red border and cause discomfort while speaking, eating, or drinking. They range in size from a pinhead to a quarter, and although not contagious like cold sores, they can still cause significant discomfort.

Minor Injury or Trauma

Canker sores often develop in response to accidental injuries inside the mouth, such as biting the inside of the cheek or lip. Aggressive tooth brushing that irritates the delicate tissues of the mouth can also lead to canker sores.

Food Sensitivities or Allergies

Certain foods can trigger an immune response in susceptible individuals, leading to the development of canker sores. Some common triggers for some people include citrus fruits, spicy dishes, and acidic foods like tomatoes, although the specific triggers can vary from person to person.


Psychological stress can weaken immune response, making individuals more vulnerable to developing canker sores. High stress or anxiety levels may disrupt the normal functioning of the immune system, increasing inflammation and making it easier for canker sores to develop.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can influence the occurrence of canker sores. Changes in hormone levels can affect immune system response and increase susceptibility to developing oral ulcers.

Weakened Immune System

Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, autoimmune diseases, or undergoing chemotherapy, can increase the risk of developing canker sores. A compromised immune system is less effective at fighting infections and inflammation, making individuals more prone to oral health issues.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, or zinc can contribute to the development of canker sores. These nutrients play important roles in maintaining the health of the oral mucosa and supporting immune function. Insufficient levels of these nutrients can impair the ability to repair damaged tissues and fight off infections.

If your canker sores are frequent, it is important to consult your dentist or doctor. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and explore other treatment options to help you manage and conquer those pesky canker sores.

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