You take a simple sip of water—then you feel a painful, burning sensation within your mouth. A look in the mirror shows a round or oval, white or yellowish lesion with a red border.
That's a canker sore, and if you're one of the unlucky people prone to them, you know they can hurt pretty damn bad. In fact, one in five Americans gets canker sores every year, says Matthew L. Mintz, M.D., an internist in Bethesda, Maryland.
Canker sores, which can pop up on the insides of your cheek or on your tongue, gums, or soft palate, can make eating, drinking, and doing pretty much anything with your mouth an ordeal. And experts don't really know what causes them, he adds.
About a third of people who get them have a family history with them, so it’s possible they’re genetic, but stress tends to make ...