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Canker sores are lesions that develop on the soft tissues inside your mouth. If you have ever had a canker sore, here are some things you might want to know:

-Cold sores and canker sores are two separate conditions. Cold sores form on the surface of your lips and can be contagious. Canker sores occur only on the insides of the mouth and are not the result of a communicable disease.
-Minor canker sores are the most frequent type of canker sore. They are typically rather small and oval shaped with a red edge. They usually go away in one to two weeks.
-Major canker sores are fairly infrequent. They’re larger and deeper than minor canker sores. Their shape is most often perfectly round but can also have irregular edges. They usually hurt quite a bit and can take up to six weeks to heal with extensive scarring.
-Herpetiform canker sores tend to appear later in life. They are the size of pinpoints and regularly happen in clusters of 10 to 100. They can occasionally join together into one large ulcer with uneven borders. Like minor canker sores, they usually heal completely in one to two weeks.
-Canker sores can be a side-effect of small injuries, overactive brushing, specific types of toothpaste or mouthwash, food sensitivities, a lack of certain kinds of minerals and vitamins, helicobacter pylori bacteria, hormonal shifts during menstruation, stress, or some diseases and conditions involving the digestive or immune system.
-It’s time to see a doctor when: your scores are abnormally big, return frequently, or are extremely painful if symptoms prevent comfortable eating or drinking, or the canker sore is accompanied by a high fever.

If you have any queries not addressed here, please feel free to contact Dr. Dennis Burrell at Dr Dennis Burrell and Associates, PC in University Place, Washington, by calling 253-564-7645.