What is aphthous stomatitis (canker sore)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Ginat W Mirowski, MD, DMD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Aphthous stomatitis, also known as recurrent aphthous ulcers or canker sores, is among the most common oral mucosal lesion physicians and dentists observe. Aphthous stomatitis is a disorder of unknown etiology that may cause significant morbidity. One or several discrete, shallow, painful ulcers are visible on the unattached oral mucous membranes. Individual ulcers typically last 7-10 days and heal without scarring. Larger ulcers may last several weeks to months and can scar when healing.


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