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What are canker sores? How do they develop? What can treat these lesions? To learn the answers to these questions, read these 10 facts about canker sores.

  1. These sores are also called aphthous ulcers or recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
  2. Canker sores appear as white, yellow, or gray lesions surrounded by a red border.
  3. Canker sores first begin developing with a burning, tingling sensation. One or two days later, a bump appears that will rupture within a day’s time. This leaves the canker sore as an open wound.
  4. Canker sores are not contagious.
  5. These sores can reappear over time.
  6. The cause of canker sores in unknown, but factors and triggers that have been linked to them include stress, immune system problems, poor nutrition, hormone changes, certain medications, trauma to the mouth, bacteria, viruses, and food allergies.
  7. Canker sores usually heal on their own within one to two weeks.
  8. To relieve pain from canker sores, use an antimicrobial mouthwash or over-the-counter topical anesthetic. You may also want to avoid acidic or spicy foods which can irritate the oral tissue.
  9. You usually don’t need to seek professional treatment for this condition unless the sores are large, very painful, not healing, constantly reoccurring, or are accompanied by fever.
  10. Dentists and physicians can treat sever canker sores with a prescription mouthwash, medication, or by cauterizing the lesion.