How To Know If You Have Complex Canker Sores

While nearly everyone has had a canker sore (also referred to as a blank ulcer, or a mouth ulcer) or two during their teenaged years, complex canker sores are a different animal altogether, and thus require a bit more of your time and attention than those cankers caused by the raging hormones of puberty. If you're attempting to identify whether your canker sores are a bit of a delayed reaction from puberty or are actually complex canker sores, then here's what you need to know.

Check Your Age

Generally, run-of-the-mill canker sores (usually called simple canker sores) affect people between the ages of 10 and 20—in other words, they mostly have their heyday during puberty. So check your age—if you're a decade or two past puberty, chances are good that raging hormones aren't the problem, and that you can proceed with a little more surety that you might have complex cancer sores. However, if you're a few years off either way, you may have trouble figuring out whether it's the first or last gasp of puberty or if you have complex canker sores—which means it's time to move on to the next criteria.

Track Your Reaction

The next thing you need to do is to track your reaction to your canker sores; do they go away in a week, like simple canker sores, or do they stick around for longer? Are you able to function as normal, or are you running a fever, feeling lethargic, and/or developing swollen lymph nodes? Is it just a sore or two that poke up and fade away, or are new sores popping up before the old ones have a chance to heal? Are your eating habits largely unchanged, or do you feel unable to eat properly? If you answered "yes" to the latter half of these questions, chances are good that you're experiencing complex canker sores—but don't diagnose yourself just yet.

Find Your Connection

Before you decide definitively that you have complex canker sores, you might want to find a connection between the ulcers in your mouth and diseases that can cause them. Relatively common conditions such as HIV/AIDS, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, Celiac disease and Inflammatory Bowel disease (and less common conditions like reactive arthritis and cyclic neutropenia) can lead to ulcers in the mouth that are commonly mistaken for complex canker sores. Talk to your doctor if you have (or if you suspect you have) one of these conditions; they'll be able to recommend a more effective treatment plan based on the condition you have.

For more information, visit a dentist (like those at Family Dental Care).