Canker Sores (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Canker sores facts
- What are canker sores?
- What are symptoms and signs of canker sores?
- What are the causes of canker sores?
- Are canker sores the same thing as fever blisters?
- What is the treatment for canker sores?
- What kind of topical medications (gels or ointments) are available for canker sores?
- Can mouthwash solutions be used to treat canker sores?
- What oral medications are available to help canker sores?
- What should I do if I get canker sores frequently?
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
What are canker sores?
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 the most common type of oral lesion, 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.
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