Canker Sores - Experience

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What are canker sores?

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 among the most common types of oral lesions, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Calciumisthecure, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

I have had canker sores since I was a little child. After many painful years of dealing with the issue, finally I found the answer through my holistic doctor hear where I live. I am now 44 years old and have way less outbreaks and If I notice the onset of any, I just supplement 2000 mg of calcium 3 or 4 times a day and within one day the canker sore begins to heal and is gone within about 3 to 4 days. No pain at all during the process. I couldn't believe after all those years no one could help me until now. Hopefully, my story will help someone.

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Comment from: gginpa, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

For over 20 years, I've had chronic mouth sores. In recent years, the canker sores increased in frequency and severity, often several at a time. No treatment I tried brought prevention or pain relief. Last November, at age 73, I had a first-time, very severe flare-up of Crohn's disease. Since the onset, I have had no mouth sores! In addition, my chronic seborrheic dermatitis also disappeared. This leads me to suspect that both may be autoimmune diseases. I am currently on Remicade for the Crohn's, but it is significant to note that the mouth sores disappeared before I started receiving treatment.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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