Whereas the cause of canker sores remains a mystery, they affect ~20% of Americans at some point in their life. The signs and symptoms of canker sores include painful sores in the mouth?on the tongue, on the soft palate, and inside the cheeks; a tingling or burning sensation before the appearance of sores; and a round, whitish appearance to sores, with a red edge or halo.
To treat canker sores, physicians and dentists may recommend a prescription mouthwash to relieve the pain and irritation. If the sores are large, painful, or persistent, OTC topical ointments may provide pain relief and speed up healing. To prevent a canker sore outbreak, dentists and physicians should recommend that patients do the following: