Canker Sore

A canker sore or aphthous ulcer is a skin lesion that occurs inside the mouth.

Symptoms of Canker Sore

The symptoms of canker sores are:

  • Sores inside the mouth
  • White or gray in color
  • White circle or halo around the sore
  • Pain

Causes of Canker Sore

The exact cause of canker sores is not known. The following factors are thought to play a role in the development of this condition:

  • Deficiencies in vitamin B12, folate or folic acid, and iron
  • Injury to the area, such as accidental biting
  • Dental work
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Menstruation

Mouth sores can also be associated with the following diseases:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Behçet's disease
  • Immunity disorder causing skin to blister (bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus vulgaris, and paraneoplastic pemphigus)

Treatment of Canker Sore

Canker sores usually go away by themselves within 2 weeks, with most pain going away after 3 or 4 days.

Treatments for this condition include:

  • Warm salt water and antiseptic rinse to ease the pain
  • Avoiding spicy foods that can irritate a healing sore
  • Prescription topical corticosteroids to ease the pain and speed healing
  • Note that even with these treatments, canker sores may recur in some people.

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