Canker Sores Health (cont.)

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Next Steps

For patients with a first episode, confirmation of the diagnosis is important to make sure that there are not other diseases mimicking an aphthous ulcer. For a patient with recurrent aphthous ulcers it is best to work out a treatment plan with your physician to minimize unneeded trips to the physician while also making sure that pain and suffering are minimized.

Canker Sore Prevention

  • Avoid anything that could cause trauma -- even minor trauma -- to the mouth, such as hard toothbrushes and rough foods.

  • Stress reduction: For many patients, stress is a reason for more recurrent attacks, and stress-management techniques may decrease the frequency of attacks.

  • Avoid toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate if you tend to get canker sores.

  • Do not talk while chewing.

  • Have any irregular dental surfaces repaired.

  • Hormonal factors can sometimes trigger an outbreak in women during the premenstrual phase. Oral contraceptives may be helpful in this regard.

  • If you have a deficiency of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12, make sure you are taking the appropriate supplements; however, in most cases, this will not produce any improvement in the recurrence of the ulcers.

Canker Sore Prognosis

Most people are minimally inconvenienced by canker sores, because attacks usually are infrequent and last only a matter of one to two weeks.

  • The more severe form, however, tends to last longer.

  • As you age, canker sores should be come less frequent and eventually no longer occur.

Canker Sore Picture

Media file 1: Canker sores are painful ulcers involving the mouth. The person shown here also has Behçet's syndrome, which among other things causes canker sores. (Photo courtesy F. Fehl III, MD)

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Media type: Photo

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Canker Sores - Effective Treatments Question: Please describe what treatments have been effective for your canker sores.
Canker Sores - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with canker sores?


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