Canker Sore on Lip: Symptoms, Causes, How to Get Rid of

Canker sore is one kind of mouth or lip ulcer (aphthous ulcer) or sore. Are you suffering from this? Then, you know the pain better. It steals the happiness of life & shows you how a small sore can be so painful. Stomatitis may occur sometimes. Cold sore and canker sore is a different thing. Sometimes people confuse them together & take the wrong treatment. You will get surprised to know that most of the time it heals by itself. Do you have enough knowledge about it? I was a frequent sufferer of it & well known about its symptom, diagnosis & treatment. Now it’s my duty to inform you about this painful canker sore on lip.

Symptoms of Canker Sore:

The canker sore is small in size but so much painful & inflammable. You may notice it in your mouth, tongue even in the throat besides the lips.  Usually, this mouth ulcer appears white or yellow color lesion.

Are Canker Sore Contagious:

The canker sore is not contagious but makes problem in eating & talking. Generally, it comes with fever and stays for one or two weeks. At first, you can apply some home remedies to heal. Thereafter, if it takes a long time to go away & increases your pain,  gradually you must go to the doctors.

Types of Canker Sore on Lip:

There are two types of canker sores you may observe. One is simple & other is complex. Besides, you may get herpetiform & so on.


If you are a sufferer of canker sore several times in a year like 3 or 4  times, then it’s nothing but a simple form of it. Generally, young aged (10 to 20 years) people get attacked by this type of sore. This minor type seems in 80% of cases. These are minor in size (2-8mm in diameter), roundish, shallow & hoar yellow with a red circle. It heals within one to two weeks without scars.


Complex canker sores are rare form & less occurred among people (around 10% of canker sores are the major type ). The size of the sore is larger & irregular (1-3 cm in diameter) with extreme pain. So,  it’ll take more time & extra care to cure. If this becomes severe you must consult with doctors. For abolishing oral cancer (called squamous cell cancer) biopsy is recommended. These are major canker sores.


Herpetiform canker sores are infrequent & seem among aged persons (above 20 years old). The herpes virus is not responsible for this disease. Usually, these are pinpointed in size. Sores are less than 3mm in diameter. They have an uneven border but remains in a cluster (10 to 100 sores). It takes 1 to 2 weeks to heal.

What Causes  Canker  Sore and The Risk Factors:

There are several causes of the canker sore. Most of them are unfamiliar & very confusing to detect. Here some most probable causes are:

  • Simple canker sore may be caused by tension & injured tissue inside of the lips. This injury may happen by intense tooth brushing. Application of dental appliance like braces denatures also causes lip ulcer. Sometimes a sports accident is also responsible for this.
  • Having citrus fruits, including acidic foods, vegetables cause this ulcer. These are like lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, tomatoes,  chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese. Even spicy food can trigger canker sore & make it severe sometimes.
  • Sometimes lack of nutrient, vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, iron are also responsible
  • Some gastrointestinal tract diseases like celiac disease or Crohn disease causes this RAS (Canker sore)
  • If the presence of sodium lauryl sulfate presents in Toothpaste
  • Hormonal problems
  • Smoking
  • Some diseases work as a promoter of it like- cold, flu, HIV/AIDS & transplantation of organs.
  • Oral cancer
  • Allergic issues
  • Some drugs are prior to the canker sore. The drugs are like Aspirin, Oral nicotine, Sulfa drugs, Immunosuppressants, Antibiotics, Antiretrovirals, Antihyper

And the risk factor is it is very common for younger, teenagers & females. Sometimes people suffer from the mouth ulcer because of heredity, food habit & allergic problem.

Canker Sore vs Cold Sore:

These are not the same. There are so many differences between them.

Cold sore

Canker sore

  • Known as an aphthous ulcer
  • Not contagious
  • Not caused by this virus
  • Inside the  lip and mouth & tongue

When to See a Doctor:

  • Severe fever with this mouth ulcerCanker Sore
  • Can’t eat, drink even talk.
  • Immeasurable & unbearable pain
  • Spreading
  • Larger sore than normal
  • Static sore more than two weeks
  • Weight loss
  • Inflated lymph nodes

If you see these symptoms you should immediately consult with your doctor. 

How to Diagnosis:

At a primary level, there is no need for diagnosis of a canker sore. A simple visual examination is enough to identify it with your doctor or dentist. But you need a checkup & tests when it would be acute and continuous. If there’s any need for diagnosis, then the following process should be applied.

  • Complete medical history
  • Categorizing the level of pain of the canker sore
  • Examining the canker sores
  • Palpating canker sores
  • Test for other disorders

Through examining (taking blood test & biopsy) they may get  the following results

  • Hormonal disorder
  • Imbalance immune system
  • Acute breakout
  • Vitamin & mineral deficiency
  • Presence of the virus

Sometimes the symptom of a canker sore & oral cancer is alike. Oral cancer is more painful & severe than a canker sore undoubtedly. So it carries some different characteristics

You’ll notice bleeding from your inner surface of the lip, teeth will seem to be loosening, weakness, trial devouring and so on.

Some Complications of The Canker Sore on Lip:

You should take care of your canker sore to cure. Otherwise, it’ll make other major complications.

  • Fevercanker sore lip
  • Fatigue
  • Pain while eating & brushing
  • Cellulitis
  • Spreading

If there is a serious issue about its unbearable pain you must contact your doctor. The doctor will prescribe you the proper cure tips & treatment.

How Do You Get Rid of a Canker Sore:

Usually, canker sores heal automatically. But when they get severe you are bound to take treatment. There are 2 (two) types of treatment of it. You can call them as canker sore healing stages.

  • Symptomatic treatment
  • Systemic treatment

These both therapies are very important to reduce pain, inflammations. Locally you need the 1st therapy. When the canker sore becomes persistent, it’s better to apply the 2nd therapy. A balanced & systemic lifestyle can reduce the chances of a canker sore. Regular brushing can prevent all types of bacterial & fungal infections. You should avoid spicy food during the period of suffering from this. But you can add some delicious food in your diet chat like milk, yogurt, ice cream. These are so yummy & my favorite. And these have the ability to reduce pain. Gargling with mouthwash or saltwater also can help you to reduce your unbearable pain.

Topical gels or ointments, over- the- counter (OTC) medications can cure the pain & infection.

Here some topical prescription & OTC medications tips-

· Benzocaine gel (Orajel, Zilactin-B, Kank-A, Orabase)

· Lidocaine (an anesthetic)

  • Hydrogen peroxide rinses (Peroxyl, Orajel)
  • Canker sore patches (works for the reduction of pain & protection)
  • Triamcinolone acetonide or fluocinonide (decreases inflammation)
  • Mouthwash solutions (Diphenhydramine suspension, Anti-inflammatory steroid mouth rinses, Tetracycline antibiotic rinses)

N: B: Using these mouthwashes you have to keep in mind that it’s only for washing not for drinking. So, very carefully you have to put the suspension in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute. After swishing please spit it out. For a pregnant woman & child under 15 years old tetracycline is strictly forbidden. Even, if you have an allergic problem, you should keep away from taking this suspension. But on the basis of the doctor’s recommendations, you can apply.

Preventive Tips of The Canker Sore on Lip:

Here is some preventive measure which will help you to get canker sore free healthy life.

  • First of all, you have to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Acidic & salty foods (pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges) should be avoided. Even you have to be very careful having foods allergic or sensitive for you.
  • Brush your teeth with a soft brush & regularly floss it.
  • Be aware of buying toothpaste without containing lauryl sulfate
  • Taking any dental treatment to try to make applying orthodontic waxes.
  • Try to learn about stress reduction techniques (meditation & deep breathing, guided imagery)

Canker Sore Home Remedies:

Do you want to heal your canker sore quickly? There are some home remedies which will help you to reduce your pain & heal quickly. These are the fastest way to get rid of a canker sore.

  • Saltwater is a great natural home remedy to relieve your pain.
  • You can add fenugreek leaves to your diet as it will improve your immune system. It also works as healing ingredients
  • Basil is healthy. You can use it in your any food item. It has anti-microbial properties. Fresh leaves of it are also used to get more benefit.
  • Baking soda is a wonderful remedy to heal. It has alkaline effects which neutralize the acidic effects of a canker sore. It kills bacteria. You just need 1 teaspoon of baking soda & few drops of warm water for this.
  • I guess you are well known about alum powder which is used for food preservation. It’s also used for healing canker sore.
  • Yogurt also works as one of the best healing agents. So, you should eat at least one cup of yogurt a day.
  • Honey works as an antibacterial & an anti-inflammatory agent. It has the ability to heal the unbearable pain of canker sore. It also reduces the size & redness. You can use it several times a day.
  • You can use dashes of cayenne, apple cider vinegar, sage, watermelon frost.
  • Zinc supplement & Vitamin B complex supplement could be your remedies to cure the painful canker sore
  • Chamomile tea is a super drink to make you relief from this mouth ulcer.

 If you apply & follow these remedies, you definitely get the best result. 

We hope that you have got all the answers to your queries. Here we have tried to inform you details about canker sore. We have discussed its causes, prevention & treatment. Now it’s your turn. Please do apply these and let us know about your feedback. Your problem is our concern. Actually, it is our duty to take care of you.

Your soundness is our happiness



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