Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

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What to look out for

Canker sores typically appear as round or oval white or yellowish sores with a red border. They can occur on the inside of the lips, cheeks, the base of the gums, and the tongue. The sores are often painful and can make eating, drinking, and talking uncomfortable. Some individuals may also experience a tingling or burning sensation before the sores appear. Canker sores are different from cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus and typically occur on the outer lip. While canker sores are not contagious, they can be recurrent and cause significant discomfort.

Some common triggers for canker sores include stress, hormonal changes, food sensitivities, and minor mouth injuries. Maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding spicy or acidic foods may help prevent the occurrence of canker sores.

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