...ABOUT CANKER SORES
What causes these, and how can I prevent them?
— RUTH SUTER,
OUR EXPERT ANSWERS
Doctors aren't sure of the cause. They may be triggered by stress, menstruation, or a virus or be the result of irritation from spicy food, biting the inside of your mouth, or ill-fitting dentures. First, practice good oral hygiene; regular brushing (with a soft toothbrush) and flossing keeps the mouth free of irritants. Pain generally subsides without treatment in a few days (but OTC products can provide temporary relief and healing). If you get chronic sores, ask your doc about treatment options, including prescription meds.
By Alan Taege, MD, Infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic