Aphthous Ulcers

(Canker Sores; Aphthous Stomatitis)


Aphthous ulcers are also known as canker sores. They are painful, temporary sores that may occur anywhere in the mouth. The sores can occur one at a time or as a group. Canker sores are generally not serious.
Canker Sores in the Mouth
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


No one knows exactly what causes canker sores. They are thought to result from an overreaction of the immune system. Canker sores are not a form of the herpes virus. Unlike herpes, canker sores cannot spread from one person to another.

Risk Factors

Canker sores tend to occur more often in women than in men. The tendency for these sores may also run in families.The following may increase your chance of a canker sore:
  • Stress or trauma in the mouth, such as biting the tongue, trauma from falls, or toothbrushes
  • Certain foods (especially acidic foods, such as tomatoes and pineapples)
  • Changes in hormone levels
Medical conditions that may increase your chance of canker cores include:

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »