Have you been having recurring canker sores, and have thought to yourself, why do I keep getting canker sores? As troublesome as these can be, know that you are not alone. Anyone is susceptible to getting them, and there are a number of causes thought to bring them on. There is no one explanation as to why they happen, but in this article, we will explore everything you need to know about canker sores, including what causes them, how to care for them, and what to expect when you get one.

Canker sores form on the inside of the mouth, on the gums, tongue, or lip. They range in sizes, and typically present as round or oval white shallow sore sometimes yellow pigment with a red border. Canker sores are considered an ulcer and will usually feel tingling before presenting itself. Sometimes they can be painful but depends on the size, location, and how much you mess with them. Anyone can get a canker sore, but they mainly appear between the ages of 10-20 and will continue throughout life, depending on the cause.


Why Do I Keep Getting Canker Sores?

There are actually numerous reason why a person can keep getting a canker sore, and it isn’t the same reason for everyone. For instance, getting one from canker sore vitamin deficiency is extremely common.  Those lacking in vitamin B12 can experience canker sores more often than those that have a healthy diet rich in vitamins. Diet can play a significant role in their formation, but it isn’t always the primary factor. But the fact remains that most want to know how do canker sores happen so that they may avoid getting them in the future.

Are you a nervous person? Do you have a ton of stress in your life? Sometimes individuals will get canker sores from chewing on the inside of their lip. This is considered the injury to the fleshy tissue and will result in an ulcer, or canker sore.  For those that have been a habitual bitter of their inner lip, it can be difficult to stop doing so. The good news for these types of canker sores is they will go away within a few weeks if you leave them alone.

The injury that causes canker sores can happen for other reasons other than you may have bitten your lip too. Dental treatments can cause them to form because of damage to the tissue from a slip of an instrument or at the gum line during a cleaning. When combined with someone lacking in vitamins or having a weak immune system, this can be even more prevalent. Brushing to aggressively as well as having braces can make canker sores appear more frequently.

Going back to diet, nutritional deficiencies have also been known to trigger a canker sore or the formation of several. Folic acid, iron, and zinc are the primary factors to look out for and consider adding foods rich in these vitamins and minerals. Good food sources include:

  • Healthy dark green vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Lean Meat
  • Legumes

Simply including a few changes to your diet can make a huge difference in how often you get canker sores, but also reducing stress can help as well.

For those that have a weak immune system, you may also notice a somewhat regular appearance from these ulcers. Medications or illnesses that affect the immune system may increase the bodies response generating more canker sores than those that have a healthy immune system.


Where Do Canker Sores Come From?

It is debatable about where canker sores come from. As mentioned above, nutritional deficiencies, injury, and poor immune systems are the leading cause of their formation. But canker sores do have multiple varieties. There are three types a person can get including minor, major and Herpetiform canker sores. While a herpetiform may sound like it is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, it is not. But it is much different from the other two you could get, and it is far less common. These will look entirely different than minor or major canker sores. Herpetiform canker sores can range from 10-100 ulcers the size of a pinpoint. They are much smaller and heal on their own within one to two weeks.


But what is the difference between significant and minor canker sores?

Minor Canker Sores
  • Small
  • Oval shaped, with clear edges
  • It takes one week to heal without scarring
Major Canker Sores
  • Larger and deeper than minor
  • Defined border
  • Painful
  • Could take up to 6 weeks to heal
  • Extensive scarring can result


Why Do I Get So Many Canker Sores?

If you have a diet lacking in nutritionally rich food or have a compromised immune system, these could be the major factors as to why canker sores appear so frequently. For those that injure their lip due to biting it could be just a nervous tick and can resolve when stress is minimized. Unlike other mouth sores like Herpes or Impetigo, canker sores are not contagious, so they won’t spread throughout your mouth or pass to anyone else.  If you have a major canker sore and are experiencing pain with it, the use of an over the counter pain reliever may help. You can also use an oral anesthetic to help numb the area if the pain is too severe.


Tips For Avoiding Canker Sores

While it has yet to be determined what the root cause as to why they appear, we do know that diet, injury, and the immune system all play a role in why they pop up. But if you are like most people that experience this annoying problem with the mouth, you want to know, “Why do I keep getting canker sores, and can they be stopped?” Aside from changing your diet, toning down stress, and consulting with your doctor, there isn’t much you can do to prevent them.

Although if you have major canker sores, or ones that have a great deal of pain, and are not healing, seeing your doctor for treatment may be the best solution. While canker sores are annoying to have, they typically recover on their own in about a week or two and aren’t cause for concern.