APR 07, 2017 09:47 AM PDT

What is a Canker Sore and How to Get Rid of it?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 3 922

If you're like 20 percent of the population, you've experienced white, painful ulcer/lesions on the inside of your lips and gums before. These ulcerations are called canker sores (medically as aphthous ulcers), and are often mistaken for cold sores. But unlike cold sores, these aren't caused by the herpes virus, and they aren't contagious.

Causes of canker sores are varied and there's no definitive explanation of what triggers the appearance of these painful ulcers. However, researchers have linked several factors, including minor injuries to the mouth area, food allergies, bacterial allergies, hormones, and stress.

Though painful and uncomfortable, canker sores don't typically warrant treatment, as they usually go away in a week or two. Topical pain relievers such as benzocaine and oral antiseptics like hydrogen peroxide may relieve pain and speed up the healing process.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 15, 2018
Videos
JUL 15, 2018
Meet the Rare Binary Asteroid Recently Confirmed by NASA
Astronomers first became aware of an asteroid called YE5 in December of 2017, but something seemed odd about it after they were unable to discern its physi
JUL 17, 2018
Videos
JUL 17, 2018
Encouraging Progress on HIV Vaccine
In the quest to find a vaccine against HIV which causes AIDS, most attempts have failed. The HIV epidemic began about 35 years ago and in that time only fi
JUL 17, 2018
Videos
JUL 17, 2018
Novartis Ends Antibiotic Research
The United Nations has warned that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant microbes might kill ten million people every year.
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Why is the ocean getting louder?
 
JUL 27, 2018
Videos
JUL 27, 2018
Ever Wonder Why the Moon Turns Red During A Lunar Eclipse?
Lunar eclipses can be fun to observe, but have you ever wondered why the Moon turns red during the event? As it turns out, this red Moon phenomenon, also k
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabinoids Used in Treatment for ALS
The Ice Bucket Challenge brought attention to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and the need for further research on the fatal disease. This progressive
Loading Comments...