Table of Contents
- Canker sore definition and facts
- What are canker sores, and what do they look like?
- What causes canker sores?
- Are canker sores the same thing as cold sores (fever blisters)?
- What are symptoms and signs of canker sores?
- What natural or home remedies cure canker sores?
- What topical prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications cure canker sores?
- What mouthwash solutions be used to treat and cure canker sores?
- What oral medications are available to cure canker sores?
- What should a person do if they get reccurent or chronic canker sores?
What are canker sores, and what do they look like?
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers or aphthous stomatitis) are small, painful ulcers inside the mouth. They may occur on the tongue and on the inside linings of the cheeks, lips, and throat. They usually appear white, gray, or yellow in color, with a red border.
Canker sores are among the most common types of oral lesions, affecting about 20% of people. Women get canker sores more often than men. Canker sore susceptibility may be inherited, and the condition can run in families.
Canker sores are not the same as cold sores (fever blisters), which are an infection caused by the herpes virus and are contagious. Canker sores are not contagious, and are categorized into three types:
- Minor sores measure from 3 to 10 millimeters (mm) and are the most common type of canker sore. Lesions last 10 to 14 days and heal without scarring.
- Major sores are larger and deeper than minor sores, have an irregular border and a diameter of greater than 10 mm. Major canker sores may take weeks to months to heal and can leave a scar after healing.
- Herpetiform sores are characterized by large groups of multiple sores. These are small ulcers (2-3 mm) but there may be as many as 100 ulcers present at the same time. They tend to heal without scarring.