Canker sores go by a number of other names as well as the main medical one of aphthous ulcers or recurrent aphthous ulcers.
These terms include aphthous stomatitis or recurrent aphthous stomatitis, aphthae and mouth ulcers.
Aphthous ulcers are easily identified in the mouth and well known, but is there anything that can be done about them? Are there times when canker sores require medical attention? This article answers these and other questions with easy-to-understand information about canker sores.
In the UK, the term “mouth ulcer” is used instead of “canker sore.” When British people are talking about common mouth ulcers, they are typically referring to canker sores and not other forms of mouth ulcer such as herpetic ulcers.
Fast facts on canker sores
Here are some key points about aphthous ulcers in the mouth. More detail and supporting information is in the article.
Canker sores are a very common type of mouth ulcer known as aphthous ulcers.
Canker sores are typically round and less than a centimeter across, with a white or gray-yellow center surrounded by a red margin.
Common canker sores are easy to identify by their appearance under a bright light.
The main symptom of canker sores is pain at the site of the ulcer, which is irritated further by certain foods and teeth cleaning.
While risk factors are proposed, common aphthous ulcers have no clearly identified causes.
Less common types of sore do have associations with other conditions that can often be addressed, such as mouth ulcers caused by herpesvirus.
Most aphthous ulcers do not need medical attention and can be home-treated for the symptoms.
Canker sores typically heal over naturally, usually within two weeks.
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