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Canker sores are medically known as aphthous ulcers. They clinically present as lesions filled with fluid on the soft tissues of the oral cavity, typically avoiding the roof of your mouth and the gums. They tend to be painful and can make mealtime an unpleasant experience.

Dr. Brooks in Oklahoma City explains that the condition itself is not contagious, because canker sores are not caused by a disease or virus, unlike cold sores which are caused by the highly contagious herpes simplex virus.

The Causes of Canker Sores

The causation of canker sore remains unknown. Documented risk triggers of canker sore include but not limited to:

  • Deficiencies of vitamin b12 and folic acid
  • Mouth injuries, possibly brought on by hard bristled toothbrushes or accidental biting the walls of your mouth and lips
  • Weakened immune system
  • Corrosive chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, found in some toothpastes
  • Emotional stress

When to Seek Medical Attention

In the majority of cases, canker sores tend to be self-healing within a period of 7 to 14 days. See Dr. Brooks if your lesions are unusually painful and large, have a protracted healing period, or seem to be recurring frequently.

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