How to Avoid Aphthous Ulcers or Canker Sores

Aphthous ulcers or canker sores can be a big problem for those who are prone to them.  The following question is a good example of how these sores impact daily life. 

Taini's question

What are painful little white sores on gums?

My 25 year old daughter has had trouble with little white sores on her tongue, cheeks, lips and gums. 

Doctors she has seen have not been able to help her cure this problem with the most recent doctor telling her she needs a dentist because she has halitosis. 

This has been really painful for her where sometimes she can't talk and eat let alone brush and floss her teeth. I hope you can help her.

Thanking you,
Taini Bernard

My Reply

Hi Taini, I'm sorry your daughter is having so much trouble.   Halitosis is a separate issue. 

But she should see a dentist to get a diagnosis and treatment recommendation.

One possibility is a condition called recurring aphthous ulcers.

Aphthous ulcers are also called canker sores and can occur anywhere in the mouth.

They can be any size and sometimes are quite large.  Aphthous ulcers are white, roundish and slightly concave. 




The cause is unknown but there are triggers

aphthous ulcers or canker sores


  • Certain foods such as citrus fruits, milk or acidic foods or liquids

  • Trauma from brushing too hard or sharp foods

  • Stress and lack of sleep

  • Certain vitamin deficiencies

  • Sensitivity ingredients in dental care products


They are more common in women and one sore typically takes one week to ten days to heal.

For those who have many sores that occur frequently, like your daughter, the condition is chronic or constant. 

Once you have a definite diagnosis, she can try to control the outbreaks. Pay attention to times when they are most severe and try to figure out what is triggering them.

There are some prescription rinses made by compounding pharmacies that will help control the pain. Ask your dentist.

It's important that she sees a dentist soon so she can know for sure and find some relief from the pain.

Good Luck,
~Shelly

Do you have an idea for controlling these outbreaks?  Add your comment below.

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