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Canker Sores

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What are canker sores?

Canker sores are small ulcers that develop inside your mouth. Ulcers are open sores that may be shallow or deep. You may have 1 or more sores at a time, and they may grow in clusters.

What increases my risk for canker sores?

The cause of canker sores is not known. Your risk is increased if anyone in your family gets canker sores. Any of the following may also increase your risk:

What are the signs and symptoms of canker sores?

How are canker sores diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your mouth. Your provider will ask about your medical history and if you take any medicines. Tell your provider if you or anyone in your family gets canker sores.

How are canker sores treated?

Canker sores cannot be cured. The sores may go away for a time, and then come back again. Medicines to decrease pain and inflammation may be given.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage my symptoms and prevent canker sores?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Canker Sores

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.