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Is there more than one type of mouth ulcer?

There are three types of mouth ulcer which are classified according to their size. These are:

•Minor ulcer
•Major ulcer
•Pinpoint or herpetiform ulcer
The minor ulcer is less than 10mm in size and is the most common type of ulcer. This small or oval sore looks inflamed with a pale yellow or white centre.

Minor ulcers usually appear singly but up to 5 may develop at any one time.

The major ulcer is less common than the minor version and is larger in size. This ulcer takes longer to heal and can be rather painful. In some cases this ulcer can last for several months and when it does disappear, leaves behind noticeable scars.

Herpetiform ulcers appear as a cluster of tiny sores – hence the name ‘pinpoint’ and account for around 10% of mouth ulcer cases. This type of ulcer lasts for the same duration as the minor ulcer.

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