How Much Do You Know About Canker Sores?

When it comes to your mouth, no one wants to think of sores, but it is good to always be aware if you feel something abnormal.

So let’s start with…

What are canker sores?

  • Canker sores are shallow sores shaped like craters (ulcers) on the inside of your lip or cheek, or on your tongue.
  • They have a red border with a white or yellowish center.
  • They have the potential of being quite painful, and may even make it hard for you to eat or talk. Ouch!
  • You can develop more than one canker sore at a time.
  • Canker sores are fortunately not spread to other people.
  • Odds are higher for young adults and women to get them, but anyone can get canker sores.
  • Some people may be more prone than others, finding that they get them on a more regular basis.
  • Genetics seem to play a role in whether or not you will get them.
  • Most will not leave a scar – this is why it is even more important to not pick at them.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

  • You will likely feel a tingling or burning feeling.
  • They may be painful and/or swollen.

How long do canker sores last?

It depends on the canker sore. Sores that are mild may heal in one to three weeks. Sores that are more serious sores may take up to six weeks! They will hurt, on average, for seven to ten days.

Most of the time, it is not known exactly why someone gets a canker sore, but here are some possible explanations:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Allergies
  • Stress
  • Biting your mouth / lip. how to treat canker sores
  • Irritation from wire braces
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Acidic food and drink

How do you treat canker sores?

  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Rinse with salt water.
  • Avoid coffee, acidic, spicy, salty, and citrus foods.
  • Eat soft and bland foods.
  • Avoid touching the sore with your toothbrush bristles.
  • Use over-the-counter products such as Oragel or Anbesol.
  • Take pain relievers such as Advil or Aleve.
  • Ask your pharmacist what would be most suitable for children.

It is always a good idea to visit your dentist if you feel something out of the ordinary in your mouth. They will be able to do a physical checkup and diagnose the problem. It is best to never just “assume” it is a canker sore, when it could be something more serious.

Looking for a family dental clinic in the Surrey area? We would love to have you at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Give us a call to book an appointment today!