Men's Health

Are Canker Sores Contagious? How to Cure It?

Are canker sores contagious

Are canker sores like the flu” What do you mean’ are canker sores like the flu. That question was about a commonly asked question’ Are canker sores contagious (like the flu)?”

Since this is a frequently asked question, this article will address the answer to this question and you explaining what canker does are in general. So you can if you want to learn more.

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Are Canker Sores Contagious?




If you look online regarding canker sores, you will likely read a definition about canker sores which is worded similar to this, ‘Canker sores are small white swellings or sores which are surrounded by an area of redness and are always found in the mouth.’

Because they are common, your mouth will probably develop them many times after having developed them initially.

The answer to the initial question, are canker sore canker sores like the flu?

“I wonder what you mean when you ask, ‘are canker sores like the flu?’ Tell me I don’t understand what you are trying to say!” 

Well, your confusion is undoubtedly justified because that is a strange comparison to make in the title. However, the question is about a question many people ask about canker sores, “Are canker sores contagious?” 

The answer to canker sores as well as an in-depth explanation of canker sores and their significance is discussed below.

What is a Canker Sore Anyway?

Are canker sores contagious

Before answering the main topic of this article which is the question, “Are canker sores contagious?” it’s time to define what a canker sore is, to begin with. If you go onto various professional websites which discuss canker sores, yous contagious?” is presented in the next paragraph.

But are Canker Sores Contagious?

“Well, it’s great to know what a canker sore is, but you didn’t answer my initial and the main question, “are canker sores contagious?” 

The answer to that common question is, “no!” Canker sores are noncommunicable (not contagious or spread from person to person) because they are caused by factors which are entirely unrelated to human contact.

Their causes are implications discussed further in the subsequent paragraphs.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Are canker sores contagious

“Well I am relieved to know that the answer to my initial question, “are canker sores contagious?” is a definite, “no!” However, I would like to know what causes them because I would love to avoid getting them because they are so painful and hard to get rid of!” 

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to entirely or even partially avoid getting them because health professionals are not entirely sure what causes them. No direct link between contracting a particular bacteria or virus and developing a canker sore has ever been proving.

However, health professionals have found some evidence which seems to suggest that the following factors may trigger the development of canker sores in your mouth:

  • Emotional stress
  • Changes in your hormones
  • Allergies
  • Certain diseases – these include Crohn’s and celiac disease
  • Deficiency of certain nutrients and vitamins
  • Sensitivity to particular chemicals in food and beverages
  • Trauma caused by brushing teeth and other similar minor oral wounds

What Does Having a Canker Sore Feel Like?

“I wonder what having a canker sore feels like.” Since canker sores are a common mouth affliction, this is a good question for you to be asking. Canker sores appear as small shallow white ulcers which are surrounded by somewhat large red areas in your mouth.

They are very painful, and this is why eating, drinking, and sometimes even talking can be very difficult if you develop them.

It may be possible to tell if you are going to develop a canker sore because you may sometimes feel a tingling or burning sensation in certain areas of your mouth before you acquire one.  

How to Tell If You Have a Canker Sore(s)?

“Well it sounds like a canker sore is very painful, and something that I certainly never want to develop. I would love to know how I would be able to tell if I have a canker sore for this reason.” 

Well, the answer to that question is, “You would know.” You would know because you would have one or more of the following in your mouth:

  • One or more painful sore(s) in your mouth. These would always be inside your mouth and would appear on your tongue, on the back part of the roof of your mouth ( soft palate), or the inside of your cheeks.
  • You may experience an intense tingling or burning sensation in particular areas of your mouth a few days before developing the canker sore(s)
  • You would have round white or gray mouth sores with a large red area around them.

Do I Need to Worry If I Have a Canker Sore

“From what you have discussed and described so far, canker sores do not appear to be a major oral problem. I don’t think to worry about them for that reason!” 

If that is your underlying assumption towards canker sores, you are making a big mistake. Canker sores are more than just a painful oral nuisance.

They can in extreme and somewhat familiar circumstances lead to fever, constant fatigue and sluggishness, and swollen lymph nodes.

The last symptom is severe because swollen lymph nodes can lead to a slightly or severely depressed immune system.

This is not good because it can lead you to become sick much more often.

Also, vast and painful canker sores can cause drinking fluids to be unpleasant. Therefore you may become severely dehydrated!

How do I Get Rid of a Canker Sore?

“Okay, now that I know that canker sores can be dangerous, how do I get rid of them?” 

You may be relieved and pleased to know that, while not preventable, canker sores can be fast treated and eliminated from your mouth.

If you do nothing, you will generally find that canker sores become much less painful after a few days.

They tend to disappear after some days completely. However, if you don’t have the patience to wait, you can get rid of them immediately with laser treatments from your dentist.

Can Canker Sores be Prevented?

“I was wondering if I can avoid developing canker sores, to begin with.” 

Unfortunately no, but you can lessen their severity and frequency by avoiding eating foods which are highly acidic or basic.

Acids and very bitter items irritate your mouth and make it more vulnerable to developing canker sores.

Foods to avoid eating are grapefruits, lemons, oranges, tangerines, limes, and tangelos.

You also want to avoid eating spicy foods and acidic vegetables. Never chew lots of gum because this can irritate the inside of your mouth and make it more susceptible to developing canker sores.

Finally, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss after every meal to remove the foods which can trigger canker sores.

Now That I Know

“I am relieved to know that the answer to my initial question, ‘Are canker sores contagious?’ is ‘no!’ I am also happy to know the causes and treatments for canker sores. Finally, I am glad I read this article because I gained insights regarding the steps I need to take to keep from developing canker sores! Thank you!”



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Prita Kulkarni-Srinivasan

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