Canker sores are raw, painful spots found inside the mouth, similar to an open wound. They may be white, grey or yellowish in appearance, and bordered by a red ring of irritated tissue. Canker sores appear on the inside of the mouth, usually along the cheeks, on the gums or on the tongue.
Irritation of the mouth lining is a common cause of canker sores. People who wear braces are usually prone to getting canker sores, as the metal structures are sharp and rigid. They rub against the lining of the mouth and lead to the formation of sores. Even the best braces in all of North London may occasionally trigger a sore.
Simple vs Complex
A simple canker sore is a small ulcer that appears inside the mouth a couple of times in a year. They are often shallow in appearance and look like a small, white wound.
The usual trigger for a simple canker sore is minor trauma to the mucosal lining of the mouth. Examples of trauma include biting your tongue or the rubbing of braces against the skin of the mouth. Simple sores are painful, but relatively harmless. They often heal within a week or so without the need for treatment.
On the other hand, complex canker sores are more serious – they may be larger, deeper or appear in clusters. Complex canker sores take more than three weeks to heal. They are sometimes accompanied by fever and swelling around the neck area.
Likely Causes of Complex Canker Sores
Complex canker sores are usually a symptom of a more serious health problem. Vitamin deficiency is the usual culprit, as it weakens the skin inside the mouth. Adding more B-12 in your diet may prevent the formation of canker sores. Foods rich in B-12 include meats, milk and eggs.
A poor immune system is also likely to lead to the formation of canker sores. If the body is unable to protect itself from bacterial and viral transmissions, it is more likely to become prone to canker sores.
While simple canker sores are nothing to worry about, complex canker sores may point to a more serious condition. Consult a dentist if you believe you have a complex canker sore.