Canker Sores (also called apthous ulcers)
These are small lesions that usually develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. Unlike cold sores, canker sores don't occur on the surface of your lips and they are not contagious. They can be very painful, and can make it difficult to eat and talk. Most canker sores will go away on there own, usually within two weeks. They have been known to run in families. Most people get one at a time, but can get two or three. Some people can get up to ten at a time (like when Dr. Winegar had surgery and got a dozen of them on the back of his throat!). People who get canker sores typically get them several times a year. The cause of these irritations is unknown but believed to be tied to the immune system. Stress, menstruation and trauma to the mouth are often cited as triggers for a canker sore. Some foods (think acids and citrus) may trigger them or make them even more uncomfortable. If they became unbearable they can be treated with a laser or medicine.