Culver City Dentist advice on Canker sores: What are they?

Q: What are canker sores?

A: Cankers sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are sores in the mouth. They are yellow or white and they’re usually surrounded by a vivid red area. While they aren’t dangerous and usually don’t last for very long, they can sometimes be quite painful.

The cause of a canker sore can’t always be determined. It can be brought on by stressful times in your life, deficiencies in your diet (especially a lack of sufficient iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12), hormone fluctuations, menstrual periods, food allergies and viral infections.

Canker sores can show up on any loose, soft non-keratinized skin tissues of the mouth. These places are the tonsils, the floor of your mouth, the insides of your lips and cheeks, under your tongue or on the tip and on your soft palate.

People sometimes confuse canker sores and oral cancer. Canker sores are not related to cancer, but there are some kinds of cancer that first appear as a mouth ulcer that does not heal. Canker sores also shouldn’t be confused with herpes, which usually appear on the outside of the mouth. If you are concerned about any sore in your mouth, you should visit a dentist or physician for an exam.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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