Mouth Sores

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Sores or localized abnormalities inside the mouth can arise from a number of causes. Most commonly, mouth sores represent aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous stomatitis. These shallow, painful mouth ulcers often occur in susceptible individuals during times of stress, infection, or changes in immune status. Certain medications, for example methotrexate, can cause canker sores as well as deficiencies in some B vitamins (1, 2, 6, and 12), iron, folic acid, and zinc. However, irritation, injury, or infection of any of the tissues in the oral cavity can also lead to mouth sores. Sores in the mouth can occur with certain systemic (affecting multiple locations within the body) diseases such as Crohn's disease, Behçet's syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Rarely, mouth sores are among the initial signs of oral cancers. Herpes simplex virus infection causes so-called cold sores, which are typically located on the lips, but they can also occur on the gums.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2014

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.


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