Everyone has had the displeasure of suffering from canker sores. These are small mouth ulcers that appear randomly on the tongue, gums or inside walls of the mouth. Having canker sores can make eating, chewing and speaking challenging. It is painful and cause massive annoyance.

There are 2 basic types of canker sores; first is the simple variety, which may appear a couple of times each year, lasting for about a week. People between the ages of 10 and 20 are the most susceptible to this kind of mouth condition. The second type is called complex canker sores. They are generally less common compared to the first type mentioned although occurring more frequently in people who previously had them.

Conventional wisdom says tissue trauma and stress are the likely causes of simple canker sores, but did you know fruits and veggies high in citric acid can bring about the oral condition or make it worse? These include oranges, apples, lemons, figs and tomatoes. Other causes of simple canker sores include wearing ill-fitting dental appliances like braces and dentures.

On the other hand, complex canker sores are caused by deficiency in iron, zinc, folic acid or vitamin B-12. Having an impaired immune system as well as affliction of gastrointestinal diseases like Crohnís disease and celiac disease also contribute to the risk of incurring complex canker sores.

Contrary to misconception, cold sores are different from canker sores. Otherwise known as fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, cold sores are blisters that are filled with fluid. They are extremely painful, contagious and usually caused by a particular virus. Another important distinction is that cold sores appear outside the mouth; canker sores are always inside the mouth.

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