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canker sores
Feb 26, 2003

How dangerous are Canker Sores with Oral Sex(MtoM)? I was always told they were only a blister, not an open soar.

Response from Mr. Kull

It is not clear what causes apthous ulcers (canker sores). Apthous ulcers are small, painful, and shallow sores that can appear white or gray surrounded by a red halo. They usually appear on moveable, soft tissue inside the mouth -- the tongue, throat (including tonsils and uvula), and inner cheeks. Anywhere from two to fifteen ulcers can appear at one time and can individually last up to two weeks. Some people experience new canker sores in succession for up to one month. Several episodes a year are not uncommon. Canker sores can be very painful and may interfere with eating, drinking, and speaking.

No one is sure what causes canker sores; there may be many different causes for them. Stress and anxiety, mouth trauma, food allergies, gastrointestinal problems, immune suppression, and viral or bacterial infections have all been suggested as causes. Many people start getting them when they are coming down with a cold or the flu. It is not clear if they can be transmitted to another person (it seems unlikely, unless they are viral in nature).

It is advisable that a person abstain from performing oral sex when there are canker sores in the mouth, or if there are any other problems with oral health (STIs, gingivitis, recent dental work, sore throat). There is some evidence to support an increased risk for HIV transmission to the person performing oral sex when canker sores or other oral health problems are present.

RMK



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