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Canker Sores (Causes, Home Remedies, Treatment, and Prevention)

Canker sore definition and facts

  • Canker sores are small, painful ulcers on the inside of the mouth, tongue, lips, or throat.
  • Symptoms of canker sores include small, painful, crater-like ulcers.
  • See a doctor if canker sores are accompanied by fever, last more than three weeks, or the affected individual has difficulty swallowing.
  • Multiple factors may cause canker sores, including injury to the mouth, acidic or spicy foods, vitamin deficiencies, hormones, stress, or autoimmune disorders.
  • Canker sores are not the same thing as fever blisters (cold sores).
  • Most canker sores require no treatment and heal on their own.
  • To help relieve pain and speed healing, treatments and home remedies for canker sores include topical medications, mouthwashes, and over-the-counter pain medications.
  • People with frequent canker sores should see their doctor to be tested for possible underlying medical conditions.
Reviewed on 11/7/2017
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