Canker Sores
(Aphthous Ulcers)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Canker sores facts

  • Canker sores are small, painful ulcers on the inside of the mouth, 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 resolve on their own.
  • To help relieve pain and speed healing, treatments and remedies for canker sores include topical medications, mouthwashes, and over-the-counter pain medications.
  • People with frequent canker sores should see their doctor to get tested for possible underlying medical conditions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Canker Sores - Effective Treatments Question: Please describe what treatments have been effective for your canker sores.
Canker Sores - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your canker sores?
Canker Sores - Topical Medications Question: What topical medications have been effective treatments for your canker sores?
Canker Sores - Oral Medications Question: Which medications have you tried for pain or to treat your canker sores? What would you recommend?
Canker Sores - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with canker sores.

Canker Sores (Mouth Sores) Symptoms

Some people may experience the following related canker sores symptoms and signs:

  • Bleeding Gums
  • Lump Or Mass On Gums
  • Painful Gums