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Canker Sores (cont.)

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Picture of a canker sore (aphthous ulcer)
Picture of a canker sore (aphthous ulcer)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2014

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Canker Sores - Effective Treatments Question: Please describe what treatments have been effective for your canker sores.
Canker Sores - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your canker sores?
Canker Sores - Topical Medications Question: What topical medications have been effective treatments for your canker sores?
Canker Sores - Oral Medications Question: Which medications have you tried for pain or to treat your canker sores? What would you recommend?
Canker Sores - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with canker sores.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/canker_sores/article.htm

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