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Canker Sore (Aphthous Ulcer)

A Canker sore

Canker sores are also known as aphthous ulcers. These are small ulcers in the mouth that are usually painful. The border of the ulcer is usually red, and the center is white. They can happen on your tongue, lips, inside the cheeks or on the floor of your mouth. Most people come down with an aphthous ulcer at some time or other in their lives. Don't confuse them with cold sores, which are found on the lips, gums or the hard palate. Cold sores, unlike these ulcers, are contagious.


A sore normally presents symptoms like a painful ulcer inside the mouth, a burning or tingling sensation before an ulcer appears, or sores that are round, white or gray in color with a red border.


The cause of most canker sores remains unknown. Some may be traced to stress or certain foods. Some medications may also cause ulcers in some people. Some cases may be a symptom of underlying health problems like an impaired immune system, malnutrition or Crohn's disease.


If you also experience fever, sluggishness and swollen lymph nodes, you may want to visit your doctor. This could mean the sores are only a symptom of something larger.

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