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How common are canker sores (aphthous stomatitis)?

Canker sores are a fairly common mouth sore. They may return frequently and may be only one canker sore or several. They are not contagious and usually go away on their own within a week.
Canker sores are a common form of mouth sores that affect about one out of five people. Canker sores occur in women more often than men. They may occur at any age but usually first appear between the ages of 10 and 40. Canker sores can run in families. They may be linked to problems with the body's immune (defense) system. The sores also may occur after a mouth injury due to dental work, aggressive tooth cleaning, or biting the tongue or cheek.

Continue Learning about Canker Sores

What is the difference between cold sores and canker sores?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Canker sores are small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border; canker sores appear inside...
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How soon do canker sores heal?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Canker sores usually heal on their own within a week or two. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics an...
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When should I call my doctor if I have canker sores?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
For any sore lasting over a week, your dentist should examine any mouth sore that lasts a week or lo...
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As a Teen, What Can I Do About My Canker Sores?
As a Teen, What Can I Do About My Canker Sores?

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.