Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, are painful sores that are found inside the mouth, on the tongue, soft palate or inside the cheeks. There are two types which include simple canker sores and complex canker sores. Simple canker sores appear a few times a year for people ages 10 to 20 years old and complex canker sores, “are less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them” (Dental Health, 2014)

Unfortunately the medical community does not know what exactly causes canker sores, however some things can be culprits.  Some of these include: hard tooth brushing; food sensitivities; lack of vitamins; braces; and bacterial, viral or fungal infections (Johnson, 2015). Canker sores can be a warning for: celiac disease; inflammatory bowel disease; diabetes mellitus; Bechet’s disease; malfunctioning immune system; HIV/AIDS (Johnson, 2015). 

For many years I had problems with canker sores and it took me a bit to really observe what was causing it. It turned out that it was my toothbrush coupled with how hard I was brushing. I use to brush my teeth with the intent of scrubbing off all plaque possible. With that vigorous brushing my grip would occasionally slip and I would jam the head of the toothbrush hard against my gums. 

Painful as it was, I kept doing it. There’s nothing worse than jamming your toothbrush against an already formed canker sore. So I’m not quite sure what prompted it, but I ended up purchasing a kid’s size toothbrush in the hopes of finding relief, which I thankfully did. I chalk it up to the tiny handle and small brush head that seems to prevent me from reeking total havoc in my mouth. Right now I’m amused with a Sponge Bob Square Pants toothbrush as I really don’t care for Dora the Explorer. 

Rather than going to my extreme, you can opt for a treatment of a salt water gargle which provides relief from the sting and pain as well as providing fast healing abilities. 

Canker Sore Relief Recipe

  • ½ Teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ Cup of warm water
  • Cup


  1. Mix the salt and water in a cup; stir to dissolve
  2. Rise mouth out as you would with mouth wash for 30-60 seconds then spit out
  3. Repeat 3 times a day until the canker sores are gone

If you know what’s causing the canker sores, you know what to avoid or lessen to prevent them. If you’re not quite sure, check out the second link below under references for more information.

Until next time, discover the power of your kitchen cupboard.

Dental Health and Canker Sores. (2014, June 23). WebMD. Retrieved from

Johnson, S. (2015, August 25). What causes mouth ulcers? 25 possible conditions. WebMD. Retrieved from

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