May also be called: Canker Sores; Oral Aphthae; Aphthous Stomatitis
Apthous ulcers, or canker sores, are small ulcers that occur inside the mouth, often causing discomfort during eating or talking. They are not contagious and not associated with cold sores that appear outside the mouth.
No one knows exactly what causes apthous ulcers, but many factors put a person at risk for getting them. Diet; emotional stress; nutritional deficiencies of folic acid, vitamin B12, or iron; and food allergies can all contribute.
Mouth injuries, such as biting the inside of the lip or brushing too hard, also can bring on the sores. Sometimes apthous ulcers indicate a person has an immune system disorder or other health condition.
Anyone can get apthous ulcers, but teens and people in their early twenties are affected the most.
Although painful, apthous ulcers are generally not serious and can be easily treated with over-the-counter or home remedies.
If the sores last longer than 2 weeks, occur often, are associated with fever or other symptoms, or make it hard to eat and drink because of the pain, contact your doctor.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Dental Association (ADA) The ADA provides information for dental patients and consumers.|
|Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.|
|Canker Sores Many people regularly get bothersome canker sores in their mouths. Here's how to help prevent them - and make a kid who has one more comfortable.|
|Canker Sores Have you ever been rankled by a canker sore? If you have, you know that these small mouth sores can cause major pain.|
|Are Canker Sores Contagious? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Mouth and Teeth Our mouth and teeth play an important role in our daily lives. Here's a course on the basics - including common problems of the mouth and teeth.|
|Canker Sores Canker sores are fairly common, and they usually go away on their own without treatment. Read this article for teens to find out more, including tips on what to do about the pain.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.