Learn About Mouth Sores: Causes & Prevention

Oral ulcers can cause serious discomfort, and they impact how you eat, drink, and speak. They typically emerge in groups of two or four on the inner cheek walls, inner lips, or, less frequently, on the tongue or soft palate. Read on to understand the possible causes of mouth sores and how you can prevent them.

Experts are split on the exact cause of mouth sores, but many believe their frequency depends on genetics, or hereditary factors. Regardless, other circumstances like hormonal fluctuations, stress, food allergies, vitamin deficiencies, or even the vigorous over-brushing of teeth can contribute to their development. 

Usually, mouth sores heal after a week or two. More significant growths, called major mouth sores, may stick around for up to six weeks and possibly leave oral scarring

There is no cure-all for canker sores, but you can relieve your pain and quicken the healing process with a combination of treatments, which may include a mouthwash, a pain-relieving ointment, a prescription medication, supplements, and/or a medical procedure.  

The term “canker sore” is interchangeable with “mouth ulcer.” These painful sores can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, vitamin deficiencies, food allergies, and oral irritation, among others. Interestingly, research also shows that canker sores are more common in women than in men. 

Time is often the most effective cure for canker sores—they usually heal after a couple of weeks. However, you can ease the healing process and combat irritation from a mouth ulcer with a variety of treatments, including mouthwashes, prescription gels, and oral supplements.