A canker sore is a common form of mouth ulcer, which appears as a painful white or yellow ulcer surrounded by a bright red area. A canker sore sore can be triggered by emotional stress, dietary deficiencies, menstrual periods, hormonal changes, food allergies or trauma in the mouth. Canker sores usually heal without treatment within two weeks.
Review Date: 4/20/2015
Reviewed By: Sumana Jothi MD, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Airway, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders, Clinical Instructor UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.