Mouth ulcers are also known as canker sores. Their scientific name is aphthous stomata or recurrent aphthous stomatitis. No matter what you call them, many people suffer from this condition each year. Most of the time, these ulcers, which is a term used to describe any type of sore in the inner mouth, appear on the inner cheek, tongue or the inner lip. They can also occur on the floor of the mouth and less commonly in or near the throat. If you have these, you may need to seek out a dentist’s help in stopping them.


What Are They?


Mouth ulcers are usually about three to five millimeters in diameter, though some can be very large. If you have a chronic condition in which these mouth sores are present frequently or continuously, it is not uncommon to have two or three, or sometimes more, at one time. In very severe cases, it is possible to have ten to 20 mouth ulcers present at one time, or more.


One of the most common signs of mouth ulcers, as compared to other types of mouth ailments, is the pain these sores cause. They often cause pain from any type of contact, including when you drink or eat, or rub your tongue against them. Even talking can cause a problematic situation. If you do not take steps to stop their advancement, these mouth ulcers can worsen so much so that you may stop eating or drinking.


There are a few things you should know about these sores.


  • They are not the same as cold sores. Cold sores occur on the outside of the mouth and lips.
  • These mouth ulcers are not contagious. You cannot pass them from one person to the next.
  • Most will go away on their own, but for some situations, especially in situations where the pain is severe or there are numerous sores present, it is important to contact a dentist about your condition.


Canker sores can be a social concern and they can be painful. They can cause the development of other health conditions affecting your teeth if they are left untreated and do not heal on their own. If you have mouth ulcers, take steps to improve oral hygiene which may help to reduce the number of occurrences. In other cases, it is best to leave them alone and allow them to heal on their own.

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