What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores are the most common lesions in the mouth.  Around 25% percent of people get canker sores each year, and around 2-5% of people report frequent episodes.  Canker sores generally occur on the mobile soft tissues of the mouth (mucosa), though they can occur on the gums as well.  

Sores exhibit a red halo or border with a white fibrinous center.  They range from the size of a pinhead to several centimeters, though most do not grow this large.  Healing occurs spontaneously over 8 to 12 days, but outbreaks can occur with overlap and in clusters.  

The pain associated with canker sores is nagging at rest and sharp with irritation.  Sweet, salty and acidic foods typically exacerbate pain, which can be intense enough to inhibit eating.  Children with frequent canker sores sometimes lose weight due to poor appetite.