17 doctors weighed in:

Can canker sores in throat and mouth cause severe pain difficulty eating and swollen lymph nodes?

17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joyce Fiedler
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Canker sores

Canker sores, known as aphthous stomatitis, can be caused by a virus, which may be why the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen.
This is the body's response to infection. They can be very painful and take up to 10 days to resolve. A solution of benadryl (diphenhydramine) and viscous lidocaine (rinsed and spit out) will decrease the pain. Topical anesthetics may help as well. See your pharmacist.

In brief: Canker sores

Canker sores, known as aphthous stomatitis, can be caused by a virus, which may be why the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen.
This is the body's response to infection. They can be very painful and take up to 10 days to resolve. A solution of benadryl (diphenhydramine) and viscous lidocaine (rinsed and spit out) will decrease the pain. Topical anesthetics may help as well. See your pharmacist.
Dr. Joyce Fiedler
Dr. Joyce Fiedler
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Dr. Jodi Ritsch
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Can cause pain

If your symptoms are severe, see your doctor. Remain hydrated and take otc ibuprofen for pain.
Enlarged lymph nodes are caused by the body trying to heal you.

In brief: Can cause pain

If your symptoms are severe, see your doctor. Remain hydrated and take otc ibuprofen for pain.
Enlarged lymph nodes are caused by the body trying to heal you.
Dr. Jodi Ritsch
Dr. Jodi Ritsch
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Dr. Katharine Cox
Pediatrics - Emergency Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

They can cause all these symptoms.
Visit your doctor or dentist to see why theses are occurring. All the best.

In brief: Yes

They can cause all these symptoms.
Visit your doctor or dentist to see why theses are occurring. All the best.
Dr. Katharine Cox
Dr. Katharine Cox
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Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not uncommon

Along with all types of canker sores, it's not uncommon to experience that eating is difficult, fever and swollen lymph nodes.
A gel such as benozocaine can be used to numb the sore and ease the pain.

In brief: Not uncommon

Along with all types of canker sores, it's not uncommon to experience that eating is difficult, fever and swollen lymph nodes.
A gel such as benozocaine can be used to numb the sore and ease the pain.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin
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Dr. Michael Stephenson
Pain Management
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Canker sores

Absolutely canker sores can cause pain in the mouth and due to their inflammation they can cause painful lymph node swelling.
The real question is, "Are they really just canker sores or are they herpetic in origin!" Your physician can help you determine this and can give you treatment for either cause. Over the counter meds are available but are not nearly as effective as prescription meds.

In brief: Canker sores

Absolutely canker sores can cause pain in the mouth and due to their inflammation they can cause painful lymph node swelling.
The real question is, "Are they really just canker sores or are they herpetic in origin!" Your physician can help you determine this and can give you treatment for either cause. Over the counter meds are available but are not nearly as effective as prescription meds.
Dr. Michael Stephenson
Dr. Michael Stephenson
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1 comment
Dr. Stephen Scholand
Herpes is notorious for painful sores AND lymphadenopathy. An ID doctor can use a special VIRAL CULTURE to capture the germ if it is, in fact herpes. I think knowing the cause would be extremely helpful in getting targeted treatment -- not just 'covering it up' with topical pain meds...
Dr. John Munshower
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Most often the sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus which can cause an immune response enlarging your nodes, they can be painful, and they may cause swelling.
They will resolve in time, or you can see your Dr. for an official evaluation and some anti-viral medication can shorten the duration of the illness. Get well soon.

In brief: Yes

Most often the sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus which can cause an immune response enlarging your nodes, they can be painful, and they may cause swelling.
They will resolve in time, or you can see your Dr. for an official evaluation and some anti-viral medication can shorten the duration of the illness. Get well soon.
Dr. John Munshower
Dr. John Munshower
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Dr. Matt Wachsman
Internal Medicine

In brief: No

canker sores would be external and not down throat which is a sign of a more serious condition.
cannot say in your particular case, but generally, multiple, painful, more inflamed, and/or having lymph node swelling is a more serious condition requiring medical attention.

In brief: No

canker sores would be external and not down throat which is a sign of a more serious condition.
cannot say in your particular case, but generally, multiple, painful, more inflamed, and/or having lymph node swelling is a more serious condition requiring medical attention.
Dr. Matt Wachsman
Dr. Matt Wachsman
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Dr. Stephen Scholand
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Mouth sores

This sounds severe and needs proper evaluation by a physician.
I'm concerned that this is 'more' than just a simple canker sore. Not to scare you, but there are various inflammatory diseases than can be quite severe like this (vasculitis type illnesses). Of course it could be a nasty infection too such as herpes or a similar virus. Best to get this checked right away. An ID doctor can help.

In brief: Mouth sores

This sounds severe and needs proper evaluation by a physician.
I'm concerned that this is 'more' than just a simple canker sore. Not to scare you, but there are various inflammatory diseases than can be quite severe like this (vasculitis type illnesses). Of course it could be a nasty infection too such as herpes or a similar virus. Best to get this checked right away. An ID doctor can help.
Dr. Stephen Scholand
Dr. Stephen Scholand
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In brief: Yes

Need to get to the source of what is triggering the canker sores to appear. Could be diet, spicy or acidic foods/drinks, allergies, meds, supplements, etc.
Some people are just more prone to getting them.

In brief: Yes

Need to get to the source of what is triggering the canker sores to appear. Could be diet, spicy or acidic foods/drinks, allergies, meds, supplements, etc.
Some people are just more prone to getting them.
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
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Dr. Susan Arnoult
Family Medicine

In brief: Infection

Canker sores are usually not infectious.
It sounds like you may have a viral infection causing mouth ulcers (swollen lymph nodes suggest this). See your doctor or urgent care for evaluation and treatment. Some possibilities are Hand-Foot-Mouth disease or Herpes.

In brief: Infection

Canker sores are usually not infectious.
It sounds like you may have a viral infection causing mouth ulcers (swollen lymph nodes suggest this). See your doctor or urgent care for evaluation and treatment. Some possibilities are Hand-Foot-Mouth disease or Herpes.
Dr. Susan Arnoult
Dr. Susan Arnoult
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