John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
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:
Minor sores measure from 3 to 10 millimeters (mm) and are the most common type of canker sore, affecting 80% to 85% of patients. Lesions last 10
to 14 days and heal without scarring.
Major sores are larger and deeper then minor sores, have an irregular border and a diameter of greater than 10mm. These account for 10% of all canker sores. Major canker sores may take weeks to months to heal, and can leave a scar after healing.
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. Herpetiform aphthae account for 10% of all canker sores. They tend to heal without scarring.
Cankersore (aphthous ulcers) Illustration
Reviewed by Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP on 6/5/2013
Viewer Question: Is there a connection between stress and canker sores? What can I do to get rid of them and prevent future outbreaks?
Doctor's Response: Canker sores (also called aphthous ulcers) are shallow, red or white sores that develop anywhere inside the mouth. It is not known exactly why these sores develop, but stress does seem to precipitate canker sores in many people.
Canker sores go away on their own without any treatment; however, doctors often recommend pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if the sores cause significant pain....