Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) appear on the inside of the mouth, especially the cheeks, the inside of the lips, and the tongue. They disappear within 14 days and don't scar unless they are large. Canker sores are not contagious like cold sores are. They are most common in women and in people aged 10 to 40 years. Canker sores often occur near the time of a menstrual period, in stressful situations, at lack of vitamin B12, folic acid, or iron. Some foods may trigger the canker sores or act as nutrients for the Streptococcus bacteria. The pain is worsened by hot or spicy foods that touch the sore.
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