January 2, 2018
Have you noticed any small yet troublesome sores in your mouth? Did they seem to pop up out of nowhere? Your dentist says that these may be canker sores. Learn what they are, how they come about and the ways available to address them from your local oral care expert.
What is a Canker Sore?
A canker sore is a small ulcer found inside the mouth, usually along the cheeks, tongue or lips, appearing as a white area surrounded by very red and tender, aggravated skin. Also, it can be painful, making it hard to talk, eat or drink.
What Causes Canker Sores?
The origin of canker sores remains unknown, but it has been found that eating an excess of very acidic fruits, such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes and strawberries, can trigger them in some people.
Here are some of the other causes of canker sores:
- Foods high in sugar
- Damage or irritation from ill-fitting oral appliances
- A diet lacking B-12 (the vitamin found in eggs, dairy products and seafood)
The Difference Between Canker and Cold Sores
The main way to differentiate between canker and cold sores is location. The latter can be found on the outside of the mouth and filled with fluid. Furthermore, they are caused by viral infections and are highly contagious.
Canker sores, on the other hand, will be located exclusively in the mouth.
Are Canker Sores Dangerous?
Although an uncomfortable nuisance, canker sores are generally not dangerous. They will usually disappear within a week or two.
If they appear more than four to five times a year, though, it may be a sign of a greater health issue. Consult your dentist or physician in such a situation.
How to Treat a Canker Sore
You have a few ways to respond when canker sores appear:
- Time – Leave them alone and let them run their course.
- Laser – Another option is to use laser treatment, which is applied by your dentist to the affected area, providing immediate relief.
- Mouthwash – If canker sores have become a frequent problem, your dentist may prescribe an appropriate mouthwash to combat them.
- Avoid Trigger Foods – Avoid the citrus-based and sugary foods that contribute to the flare-ups.
- Careful Installation – When installing or removing your dental appliances, be careful not to irritate your cheek and gums.
- Oral Hygiene – Be sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after meals to make sure that you remove any food particles that could irritate the sensitive tissues inside your mouth.
Monitor your situation and don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist if the problem persists. Whenever there is a reoccurring issue, it’s best to not disregard it. Get the expert advice you need to ensure that you remain as healthy as can be.
About the Author
Dr. Kevin Guze earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of British Columbia and then completed his General Practice Residency in Dentistry at Vancouver General Hospital. He followed this by obtaining a DMCs in Oral Biology from Harvard University. Dr. Guze practices at Common Park Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.