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Debunk the Myths About Canker Sores

Updated on August 14, 2013

Irritating Canker Sores


The Truth About Canker Sores

Just like the belief during the Middle Ages that mice spontaneously developed from dirty waste bins, myths about canker sores have also proliferated practically everywhere, since the occurrence of canker sores is not confined to a single race, skin color, or creed. People usually associate the ensuing events after a particular one as results of the first in a ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ fallacious logic. But once it spreads, such fallacies become folk truth, even if they have been repeatedly exposed as just plain, simple, unadulterated myths without any scientific basis.

Such is the same about canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, aphthous ulcers, Sutton’s Disease or aphthous stomatitis. Look at the following myths and maybe your grandma told you one or a few to get you to toe her disciplinary line.

Canker sores are means of punishment for lying. MYTH.This probably developed since not everyone can be Pinocchio, and the sore usually occurs within the mouth. If this is true, politicians will have the largest sores you have ever seen anywhere. The truth is, not even medical science can pinpoint exactly what causes canker sores, although medicine speculates about diets, stress, low autoimmunity levels and other common sources of psychosomatic ailments.

Cold sores and canker sores are the same. MYTH. A canker sore is characterized by a yellowish or whitish center surrounded by a reddish border, and occurs in the mouth, on the tongue, on the inside of the lips or cheek. A cold sore on the other hand, is usually a series of small blisters that may have coalesced, it is caused by the virus herpes simplex, and occurs outside the mouth, most commonly on the lips.

Canker sores are mouth cancers. MYTH !!! They are also called mouth ulcers, but they are not cancerous and never will be. You do not get cancer from canker sores.

You can get canker sores from kissing. MYTH. Unlike cold sores; canker sores in the mouth are not contagious and do not spread by kissing, using an infected person’s drinking utensils, drinking from the same bottle, or any other intimacies.

Canker sores are preventable by good oral hygienic practice. MYTH. Not true. Even people who practice good oral and dental hygiene get canker sores sometimes. Medical science has not yet isolated the cause of canker sores, perhaps because not many studies have been undertaken on the problem, as it is a minor illness of usually short duration.

However, you should be concerned if your canker sores remain for long periods or you get many recurrences in a year. This could mean you are doing something wrong or following an incorrect or aggravating diet. To know more about canker sores, visit sites where you can get more information on what causes them, how to prevent them, and treatments or measures you can take to alleviate the pain.

Although most canker sores disappear in a few days, it pays to know more about them, not only to ease the pain in your mouth, but to rest any fears that may have been instilled in you by the myths.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Good information. You can get rid of them by swishing hydrogen peroxide around the sore for a few seconds and then spit it out. Do this two or three times a day and it should be gone in a day or two.