According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no underlying cause for developing canker sores. But the most common way they develop is after obstructing the flesh inside your mouth. Perhaps you accidentally bite down too hard on your cheek or tongue. You could even get it from aggressively brushing your teeth or merely eating foods with a lot of spices or acidic content. For some people, canker sores are hereditary and will simply develop as people get older. This is what most people find is the cause of herpetiform canker sores. It has nothing to do with a viral infection or doing something to obstruct the flesh in your mouth. Instead, it just forms on its own.
As you probably know, normal canker sores look like small yellow or white inflamed circles inside of your mouth. They could be under your tongue, on your inner cheeks, on your gums or even on your lips. Usually, you won’t have too many of these lesions together in one spot. However, that is not the case with herpetiform canker sores. The word herpetiform, which is derived from the word “herpes,” means this particular type of canker sores will resemble the look of herpes. Those with herpetiform canker sores can expect to have clusters of anywhere between 10 to 100 sores on them. Each sore will be about 3mm, or 1/8 of an inch, in size and have irregular edges. The good news is these canker sores should heal on their own within two weeks. Just try not to irritate them any further by avoiding acidic and spicy foods. If you don’t pick at them and just let them heal naturally then they will clear up without leaving any kind of scarring.
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People who develop herpetiform canker sores tend to get scared because the visual symptoms look so much like the symptoms of herpes. But what you have to understand is that herpetiform canker sores are not caused by the herpes virus. So if you have not had unprotected sex with anyone and you develop these sores in your mouth area, then chances are they are herpetiform canker sores. But just to be safe, if these sores don’t clear up after two weeks then you should go to the doctor to make sure that you do not have herpes. Chances are you will have a general idea of whether or not you do based on the actions you’ve taken in your life.