Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How do you get rid of canker sores and what causes them?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do you get rid of canker sores and what causes them?


I'm a 13 year old girl. I have two canker sores in my mouth, one bigger than the other but both on one side. It is painful to talk and it really is annoying me. What causes canker sores and how can I get rid of them quickly? How long does it take to get rid of canker sores. It hurts when I open my mouth to talk and eat, also when I drink water. It is becoming a problem. It formed a few days ago and I don't know how.


Canker sores are a painful part of life that many people have to deal with. In fact, they are the most common sores in the mouth experienced by people in the US. Unfortunately, we still don't completely understand what causes them, but it seems to have something to do with the balance and imbalance of the cells that fight infection, and the chemicals that control them. Things that make you more likely to have them often include stress, changes in hormone levels, illness, and other people in your family that have them as well. Treatment options are somewhat limited, mostly because they usually get better by themselves over just a week or two, and don't leave any scarring. If they are bothering you too much (as it sounds like yours are), you can try over the counter preparations that numb the area (something with benzocaine, for example) and others that treat the inflammatory cells that come to the area (such as Orabase). If these sores persist, have other symptoms than just the annoyance and pain, or start to affect your life in any other way, you should probably speak to your dentist or primary care doctor about them.

Need more info?

See a dentist today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.