The ABC’s of Canker Sores (and How to Deal)

Cankers form in the mouth for many reasons. However, they shouldn’t be confused with cold sores, which appear outside of the mouth but have the same uncomfortable feeling. Most of us have had a canker sore at some point in our lives. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to prevent cankers from forming in your mouth and some of these measures may surprise you.

What is a Canker Sore?

Cankers, or aphthous ulcers, are sores that form in the mouth that can result from many different things. Cankers are characterized by white or yellow sores that often have a red border around them. They often start off as a small bump or red spot that may produce an uncomfortable burning or tingling sensation. Sometimes, a canker sore can be extremely painful, particularly if you eat hot or spicy foods. They can be found almost anywhere inside the mouth, from the gums to the roof of the mouth. They differ from cold sores in that they are not contagious and do not occur as a result of the herpes simplex virus. Both canker sores and cold sores can result from stress and inadequate sleep. However, Dr. McCune, Dr. Chung, and Dr. Micaletti of Creekside Dental know what to do to provide relief for these uncomfortable sores, and recommend that you schedule an appointment if you are suffering from frequent or very long-lasting canker sores, as they could be an indication of a more serious health concern.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores form in the mouth for a wide variety of reasons, some of which may be surprising. You may develop cankers from stress, inadequate rest, and nutritional deficiencies, to name a few. You can also develop cankers for these reasons:

  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Chemotherapy
  • Menstruation
  • Spicy foods
  • Toothpaste Ingredients
  • Brushing your Teeth Roughly
  • Accidentally Biting Your Inner Cheek

What Can You Do if you Develop a Canker?

If you develop a painful canker sore its best to avoid hot, spicy, and salty foods, as well as foods with sharp edges. Foods with sharp edges can be painful to eat when you have cankers. In fact, any type of acidic food or drink may be uncomfortable to consume when you have a canker. Luckily, these uncomfortable sores usually resolve themselves on their own within 7-10 days. However, if the pain is extremely uncomfortable, you can take a pain medication like Tylenol or Advil. There are even medicines available that form a protective coating over the canker sores that helps to decrease your discomfort. There are natural alternatives as well, such as drinking aloe vera juice that may help speed the healing of these uncomfortable sores. If you have a canker sore or sores that last more than 10 days, contact our dental team at Creekside Dental. Dr. McCune, Dr. Chung, and Dr. Micaletti can treat these painful sores and get to the root cause of the problem.

If you are struggling with canker sores contact our Buffalo dental team. We can help ease your discomfort, as well as assess any oral health issue you may be dealing with.

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