What Causes Canker Sores

There is a difference between canker sores (mouth ulcers) and cold sores. Canker sores are located inside the mouth, while cold sores are found around the lips and skin above the mouth.

Canker Sore Causes

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What causes canker sores in the mouth?

Some of the most common causes of canker sores:

  • Smoking,
  • Colds and flu,
  • Stress,
  • Allergies,
  • Vitamin deficiencies (vitamin B12, folic acid or iron),
  • Food sensitivities,
  • Hormone issues,
  • sudden weight loss,
  • Injury (an accidental bite to the inside of the cheek, brushing teeth too hard or dental work), 
  • fatigue and immune system issues.
  • In women, they are more apparent during menstruation periods.
  • Hot, spicy and acidic foods may trigger and/or irritate canker sores. 
  • Canker sores have been found to be hereditary. 
  • Canker sores are commonly found in Lupus and Crohn's disease (gut disorder) patients. 
  • It is more common in person’s with Celiac disease, which is a sensitivity to gluten. 
  • More common in patients with Behcet's disease, which is an oral inflammatory disorder.
  • Sensitivity to sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in certain types of toothpastes and mouth washes.
  • Women seem to be at higher risk than men.

How common are canker sores?

About 50% of people will experience a canker sore once or numerous times during their lifetime.

Those who wear dentures may be more prone to canker sores due to injury or irritation to the inside of the mouth.

Mouth Sores Causes (Cold Sore Causes)

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    Canker sores are small open sores (yellow to white with a red border surrounding it) There can be one or more. Cold sores are typically seen in groups, they are red and fluid filled blisters. Canker sores are not contagious. Cold sores are contagious.
    What causes cold sores on lips and around the mouth?
  • Causes of cold sores are similar to those of canker sores. Cold sores are caused by the HSV (Herpes simplex virus). 
  • They occur during times of extreme stress, injury and fatigue.

Any suspected canker sore cause that you would like to share?

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