Many of us suffer from these painful, red sores on and under our tongue, cheeks and inner lips and even tonsils.  Often confused with a "cold sore", these are not caused by the herpes virus.  Known formally as minor aphthous ulcers, the exact reason for them remains unclear, but may be different for each of us afflicted.   Canker sores usually occur only occasionally, and heal without scarring 7 to 14 days after they first appear.

Various causes have been reported, including allergies, genetics, nutritional deficiencies, blood abnormalities, hormonal changes, infections, trauma and stress.

Possible Allergic Response
A variety of foods may be a trigger for canker sores to form.  Recalling foods eaten 24 to 48 hours before they appear may be helpful in pinpointing your trigger.  Some common triggers include chocolate, red wine, oil based salad dressings, cinnamon, and acidic fruits.  Benzoate preservatives, commonly found in diet sodas, may also be a cause.

Tartar control toothpastes, and toothpastes containing sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) may also be a problem for some.
  Several brands are available that do not include SLS, check the labeling carefully.

Canker Sores - Why do I get them? (page 1 of 2)
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