Canker sores are not contagious and those of simple, small forms can heal within 10-14 days where multiple large sores may take 2 months to heal.
The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown. Stress or tissue injury is thought to be the cause of simple canker sores. Spicy food and citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, and strawberries) can trigger an outbreak or make the problem worse. Sometimes a sharp tooth surface or ill-fitting dentures might also trigger canker sores. Hormonal changes and sometimes medications seem to be another factor in their development.
Some cases of complex canker sores are caused by an underlying health condition, such as an impaired immune system and gastrointestinal tract disease, such as Celiac disease and Crohn's disease, nutritional deficiency, such as vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron.
In most cases, canker sores do not require any treatment. If a person already has an appearance, there are steps that can be taken to help relieve the pain or irritation and speed healing:
• Avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits, or spicy foods that may aggravate the sore
• If there is a vitamin deficiency (a doctor can test for this), take supplementation as prescribed
• Brush teeth gently and use a brush with soft bristles.
• See a dentist if you have badly fitting dentures
• If you suspect a medication is causing the ulcers, then a change may be advisable
• Use toothpaste and mouthwash that does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate
• For pain, topical medications such as Oragel applied directly on the sore or anti-inflammatory agents can be used in case of sever sores
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