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. Lesions last 10 to 14 days and heal without scarring.
Major sores are larger and deeper than minor sores, have an irregular border and a diameter of greater than 10 mm. 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. They tend to heal without scarring.
The tongue is a mobile organ that is made up of muscles and attached to the floor of the mouth. The top of the tongue is covered with small bumps called papillae. The majority of our tastes buds sit on these papillae.