Skip to Content
Canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) are painful white ulcers in the
mouth that appear most often on the tongue, inside the cheeks, and inside the
lips. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious.
The cause of canker sores is not well-understood but may include
injury or irritation inside the mouth, infection, and stress. Minor canker sores heal in 1 to 3 weeks.
Most people do not need to see a doctor for canker sores. The sores will get better on their own. To relieve pain, you might try over-the-counter medicine or change your diet to bland, soft foods.
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2016 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)