Can kissing cause aphthous stomatitis (canker sore)?

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Kissing cannot cause canker sores. While not pretty, they are not contagious. However, they can return frequently and may be only one canker sore or several. Their exact cause is uncertain but some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved. Canker sores usually heal on their own after a week or two. 

Canker sores, or aphthous stomatitis, are not contagious, which means that kissing does not pass canker sores to others. Canker sores are small crater-like patches, or ulcers, that form in the lining of the mouth. No one is sure what causes canker sores, but you may be more likely to develop them if you have been sick with a cold or flu or are feeling a high degree of stress. Canker sores usually go away without treatment in a week or so.

You cannot give someone else aphthous stomatitis (canker sore) by kissing. This condition is not contagious, but the painfulness of the ulcers may make kissing uncomfortable during an outbreak. Remember to practice good oral hygiene so that ulcers remain clean.

Continue Learning about Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Aphthous stomatitis is a sore that forms inside the mouth, and the most common type is a canker sore. These sores, also called mouth ulcers, are yellow-gray with red rings around them and usually heal in a week or two. Sometimes c...

anker sores are larger or occur in clusters and can take over a month to heal. Treatment is usually with an oral antiseptic and analgesic. Learn more about what affects your risk for canker sores with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.