The canker sores, also called mouth ulcers, are superficial ulcers that can appear inside the mouth, on the mucous membranes of the gums, palate, tongue ... They have the appearance of small white spots with oval or irregular outline, surrounded by a red and inflamed area. They can sometimes form in groups, but they are not contagious.
Sometimes, before the appearance of an ulcer one can experience a slight tingling sensation in the area concerned.
The canker sores can have a diameter of 2-5 mm, except in the more serious forms, which can be more than one centimeter in diameter: this is called giant canker sore.
Generally, canker sores heal on their own in ten days, without leaving a scar. They can be very painful: the pain occurs especially when you eat, and can hinder chewing.
For larger canker sores, healing may require more time (two to three weeks). In this case, it is advisable to consult a doctor, to possibly follow a treatment that promotes healing of the ulcer.
When canker sores occur often, and repeatedly, there is talk of aphtosis or even stomatitis foot-and-mouth disease. In some cases, they may be accompanied by fever.
Be careful when an ulcer lasts longer, when an ulcer in the mouth does not heal, the opinion of a doctor is essential. A sample (biopsy) may be necessary to possibly diagnose another type of lesion, different from an aphthae.