Discover our study on canker sores

Accomplished during more than 6 months in several European countries, this study has gathered more than 10 000 persons suffering from canker sores. They have agreed to testify by giving us information on frequency, pain, number of their canker sores, and to tell us their experience.

You too, do not hesitate to join our study or to read the testimonials .

This study seeks at better understanding how canker sores affect people. To this day, more than 10,000 people have taken part, in three countries of Europe. This study consists in gathering anonymous opinion polls of information related to the pain of canker sores, the frequency of crises, the time length of crises, the number of canker sores during the crises, as well as of information on age and sex of the polled person.

8 striking facts of the study:

  1. Women are more subject to canker sores than men

  2. Women have more frequent mouth ulcers than the men

  3. Recurring canker sores more commonly affect rather people 45 years of age

  4. People over 45 years of age are the most affected by continuous canker sores

  5. The 16-25 year olds are those who have canker sores most frequently

  6. There is no link between having often canker sores often and having many ulcers at once

  7. For 2 out of 3 people, pain felt due to canker sores is strong or very strong

  8. The more frequent the canker sores, the more painful they are

1. Quantitative results:


1.1. Typology of the polling by sex:


Medical statistics point out a stronger prevalence of canker sores in women than in men. Distribution is 55 % women – 45 % men.

A strong difference (see chart women 68% versus men 32%) noticed during study points out:

-  A stronger feminine proportion subject to the frequent canker sores.

-  Women are often prescriptive for their family (husband, children).


1.2. Typology of the polling by age:

Frequent canker sores seem to affect more young adults than people over 45 years old.



1.3. Frequency of canker sores:


In this graph, we can see that the population having answered our opinion poll is particularly affected by frequent canker sores.

It points out that in our sample, the percentage of people suffering from canker sores more than once a month is 62 % (% in the complete population: between 1 % and 2 %)


1.4. Level of felt pain:

Felt pain (measured with a 1-5 numeric evaluation) is very well brought up in this study. 62 % of polled people tell us they have a strong or very strong pain during their crisis.



1.5. Number of canker sores per crisis:


In spite of the strong bias of this opinion poll towards persons suffering from canker sores in a recurrent manner, it can be observed here that 62 % have between 2 and 4 canker sores during a crisis. There is seemingly no obvious correlation, between the fact of having   mouth ulcers often and having many of them at one time.


1.6. Cross table Frequency/Age:

This picture shows contrasting results: even if it seems that younger people (less than 15 years old and 16-25 years old) have frequent mouth ulcers (1 or 2 times a month),  the group of 46-55 year olds has the highest rate of  (in %) uninterrupted canker sores.



1.7. Cross table frequency / pain:


In this picture we can determine a strong correlation between pain and frequency of crisis: the more often people have canker sores, the more they hurt.

1.8. Cross table sex / frequency:

In this graph we see that women have canker sores more often than men ,with a frequency of "once a month ". Several studies showed a correlation between women’s hormonal fluctuations and the development of canker sores, more frequent at the time of the menstrual cycle.


1.9. Cross table number of canker sores / frequency:


In most polled groups, people have 2 to 4 canker sores per crisis.


1.10. Cross table number of canker sores / Pain:

In this chart we can observe a strong correlation between the number of canker sores during a crisis and felt pain. The more canker sores during a crisis, the stronger the pain.


2.    Qualitative results:

In the study, it was possible to leave a comment. In the section Testimonials , you can find some of these comments, which we chose as being most typical.

Several conclusive points can be taken from these thousands of testimonials: More than 65 % of those polled confess that they haven’t found a satisfactory way to deal with their canker sores, for several reasons:

  • because they have it too often to use local treatments or mouthwashes without damaging the oral mucous membranes (these products  burn, reduce the pain of the canker sore but seldom its length and its frequency of appearance)
  • Or because existing medical treatments have side effects  making their use very restrictive, they hesitate to use them

Very often, those polled confess "I’ve tried everything", "I lost hope", are upset that their problem of canker sores "is not admitted", that "there is not enough research in this domain" because it is not considered to be a major public health issue. Consequences of their canker sores affect them "in everyday life", with suffering which often prevents them from enjoying life. They often feel a "desire to destroy their canker sores" and do not hesitate to apply various local treatments, but point out that "no preventive treatment allows avoiding canker sores crisis".

Most named felt reasons are:

Most named felt discomforts are:

  • pain
  • difficulty to eat (pain during the contact with food)
  • difficulty to  drink (wine, sour fruit juices, sometimes even  water)
  • not being able to savor favorite dishes (chocolate , cheese )
  • difficulty to speak (the case with numerous canker sores inside mouth)
  • difficulties  to work during crises
  • poor sleep
  • not daring to kiss his/her partner (fright of contagion, discomfort)
  • «can’t take it anymore» attitude in front of the uninterrupted repetition of crises or the reappearance of the same canker sore several times
  • Tiredness of using local treatments which do not fix the reason behind canker sores

The most frequent comments on canker sores:

  • Seasonality of crisis
  • Many children, including babies, are affected
  • Many polled persons had many canker sores in their youth, and the frequency of crises has diminished with age
  • A family ground: many polled persons having canker sores told us that their parents or their children were in the same case.
  • local treatments have no effect on length nor frequency of mouth ulcers
  • Vicious circle of the stress which generates canker sores which generate stress etc …
  • One of the most frequent  sentences: «I tried everything»
  • Strong request / research of home remedies or natural treatments Effectiveness of corticoids but unpleasant side effects (erosion of oral mucous membrane if they are used over a  long period)

The frequent questions on canker sores:

You will find many answers in the section Frequently Asked Questions

aftazen: canker sore treatment discover our study on canker sores
Canker sores affect 20% of the population

Tip of the day:

Kiss whoever you want, mouth ulcers are not infectious