Canker Sores 101
If you have ever had a canker sore, you know the pain and frustration it can cause. Although they are non-contagious lesions, they can be embarrassing if they appear on your lips. Canker sores that are on the inside of your cheeks, gums or roof of your mouth are extremely uncomfortable to endure, especially while eating or drinking. Here are a few ways to cope with your canker sores:
• Apply a baking soda and water paste to your sore and rinse it with salt water.
• Start taking a Vitamin B12 supplement daily; this can reduce the frequency and duration of canker sores.
• Use topical products such as Orajel for immediate relief.
• Avoid spicy foods and toothpastes with an SLS ingredient, these can both irritate or inflame an existing canker sore.
Once you have found relief and overcome your canker sore, it is important that you are aware of some common causes so that you can potentially prevent future canker sore discomfort. Canker sores can simply be caused by irritation inside your mouth such as braces, hard tooth brushing or even biting the inside of your mouth. However, high stress levels, imbalanced nutrition, bacterial infections and food allergies can also cause a canker sore to form. It is important to let your dentist or physician know if you experience painful canker sores frequently.
Perhaps the most important rule you should know about canker sores is that if your sore does not heal in approximately one week, you need to contact your dentist right away. A mouth sore that refuses to heal and lingers for longer than about 10 days could be a sign of a more serious health condition.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates