What causes canker sores in women?

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The exact cause of canker sores in women (and in men) is uncertain but some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved. Canker sores are small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border that appear inside the mouth. They are not contagious, but can return frequently. You may have only one canker sore or several. Canker sores usually heal on their own after a week or two.

No one knows exactly why canker sores develop in women more often than in men. Hormonal and immune system changes might be responsible. Stress might be the event that triggers a canker sore to develop, perhaps as a result of some change in the immune system's defenses. It also could occur because of a vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin B12, iron, or folic acid. Trauma to the mouth that causes a break in the oral mucosa could also result in a canker sore. Canker sores have also been known to develop because of food allergies.

Continue Learning about Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Aphthous stomatitis is a sore that forms inside the mouth, and the most common type is a canker sore. These sores, also called mouth ulcers, are yellow-gray with red rings around them and usually heal in a week or two. Sometimes c...

anker sores are larger or occur in clusters and can take over a month to heal. Treatment is usually with an oral antiseptic and analgesic. Learn more about what affects your risk for canker sores with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.