Have you ever dealt with a small sore inside your mouth? Canker sores, otherwise known as aphthous ulcers, are small white or red sores that can develop on the inside of your cheeks, lips, on or under your tongue, on the soft palate, or your gums.
If you suffer from recurring canker sores, you’re likely looking for an effective way to treat them. While they often resolve themselves within a week or two, they can be annoying to deal with in the meantime. The Taylor Dental team is here to help you understand why you might be getting regular canker sores and what you can do to relieve the symptoms.
What Causes Canker Sores?
The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, but multiple factors are believed to trigger them. Here is a list of triggers to help you determine why you might always be dealing with canker sores:
- Stress and anxiety
- Acidic or citrus foods
- Sharp teeth
- Braces or dentures
- Allergic reaction
- Cigarette smoking
- Sodium lauryl sulfate a common ingredient in toothpaste)
- Trauma to oral issues (from a bite, dental work, or eating)
While canker sores are often confused with cold sores, they’re very different. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, where any of the triggers mentioned above likely causes canker sores.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
If you suspect you might have a canker sore, look for any of the following symptoms:
- A small sore inside your mouth that is white, gray, or yellow, often surrounded by a red ring
- An irritation or burning sensation in your mouth before the canker sore appears
- A shallow ulcer is appearing on your tongue, cheek, gums, or elsewhere within your mouth.
In more severe instances, you might also experience the following symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you believe you have a canker sore and are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, schedule a dentist or doctor’s visit for treatment options.
How to Treat Canker Sores
Most canker sores heal without any treatment within two weeks. However, if you’re dealing with a painful or persistent canker sore, you might need to call in reinforcements for treatment.
Your dentist can evaluate your canker sore’s severity and prescribe you a corticosteroid ointment or antimicrobial mouth rinse that can help alleviate the discomfort and promote healing. They’ll also provide you with recommendations for over-the-counter solutions that might be able to reduce irritation.
If you need a more immediate solution while you wait for your dental cleaning, rinse out your mouth with warm water regularly, and avoid spicy or acidic foods that can cause additional irritation.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning with Dr. Taylor
If you are continually dealing with canker sores, mention it to your dentist at your next preventative visit.
Dr. Taylor and his highly trained staff can help you determine the steps to take to improve your oral hygiene and reduce the frequency with which you get canker sores. Contact Taylor Dental in Billings, MT, to schedule a dental cleaning appointment. We look forward to improving your oral health!