Q. My son and I have canker sores. Why do we have them at the same time?

Answered by
Dr. Paras Angrish
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 25 year old female. My weight is 130 lbs and height is 5 feet. My son is 5 years old.  He has autism. He is a little overweight for age. I do not have herpes of the mouth (cold sores) and as far as I know neither should he. However, a week ago I bit the inside of my lip, and the wound turned into a larger canker sore. I also have one on my lower gum line towards the bottom of my teeth; though not as big as the one I made on my lower lip. They are painful and terrible, but I have no sores outside my mouth. They are white sores with red around them.

This morning, when I was brushing my son's teeth, I noticed there was almost circle like patches on his tongue. But, they were very faint. I took a flashlight to his mouth and noticed a large canker sore on his upper lip on the inside. It looks the same as my large one on my bottom lip. He has looked tired recently, and I am not sure if that coincides with the cold sores. A flyer from his school was also sent home the other day about a fellow student being sent home with pink eye, but I have not found anything on the internet to link the two yet. I have been doing non-stop research since before he left for school and all I can find is that these are not contagious and the causes are unknown.

Why do we both have them at the same time? He never really had any problems like this before. I did give him some Ibuprofen before he left. I am under immense stress in my personal life both self-inflicted (dieting and surgery coming up) and unintentional (many family and financial issues). So, I figured mine were from that. Any insight would be helpful. Thank you.

Dr. Paras Angrish

Dentistry Paediatric Dentistry


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • The cause of canker sores is unknown, but they tend to run in families. Canker sores are not contagious. Eating foods that you are allergic to may cause you to get a canker sore.
  • Eat or drink food that has a lot of acids, such as orange juice. It also occurs when you do not get enough vitamins or minerals in your diet, such as iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid.
  • Canker sores may hurt for 7 to 10 days. Minor canker sores heal completely in one to three weeks, but major canker sores can take up to six weeks to heal. Some people get another canker sore after the first sore has healed. Most canker sores heal without a scar.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water. To make a salt water rinse, dissolve one teaspoon (5 g) of salt in a cup (250 mL) of warm water.
  • I suggest you Anbesol, Milk of Magnesia, or Orabase (Benzocaine) to put on your canker sores. Use a cotton swab to apply the medicine. Put it on your sores 3 to 4 times a day.
  • If your child is under 2 years of age, ask your doctor if you can give your child numbing medicines.
  • I suggest you a pain reliever, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen. But, do not give Aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
  • If your canker sores do not feel better after trying these steps for two weeks, you may need to see your doctor or dentist for further management. Usually, these medicines are swished or gargled in your mouth, or they are painted on the sore.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have a fever, trouble swallowing, or if your canker sores keep coming back. You may have another problem that is causing your symptoms.
  • Most of them are self-healing, but I would recommend you to get a thorough checkup done and if possible post a picture of lesion.

For further information consult a dentist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dentist

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