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Mouth ulcers, also known as aphthons ulcers or canker sores, occur as small shallow and painful ulcers in the lining of the mouth (mainly the inner lips and cheeks) and make talking and eating uncomfortable. They are very common; most adults and children suffer from them at some stage in their life. Most commonly, people only suffer mouth ulcers one or two times a year. A small number of people suffer from them much more often, and the outbreaks can be several ulcers at the same time. The exact cause is unknown. Stress, nutritional problems and a common detergent added to most toothpastes have all been implicated but the evidence is not terribly strong.

How can I reduce the pain from mouth ulcers and help them heal?

Mouth ulcers generally heal within five to seven days. The pain and discomfort can be relieved by keeping the mouth and ulcer clean:

  • Avoid foods that irritate your mouth
  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Apply aloe vera through rinses or gels such as GUM® Canker-X® Gel or Rincinol® Mouth Sore Rinse


Many people also gain relief by avoiding spicy foods and smoking.


Mouth ulcers are not generally a significant risk to your oral health. However, if you have severe and frequently recurring mouth sores or if they do not heal within 10 days, consult your dentist or physician.

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