How can something so small cause so much irritation and discomfort? Canker sores are a common oral lesion that can erupt anywhere in the mouth without warning. They are round sores that typically have a yellow or white center. If you have a canker sore, you know exactly where it is without looking in the mirror. While most canker sores go away on their own within 10-14 days, it can feel like eternity when these lesions emerge in sensitive areas of the mouth, such as the inner lips or tongue.
But why do some people experience canker sores more often than others? Here are some facts that may help you understand your trigger for canker sores as well as what you can do to alleviate your discomfort.
Canker Sore Triggers
Why do canker sores erupt? In general, there are three common triggers that are known to contribute to canker sore development. Avoiding or limiting the following may help you avoid this type of oral disturbance:
- Acidic and Spicy Foods
- Vitamin Deficiency (B12, folic acid, zinc or iron)
What Can You Do?
If you already have a canker sore, you probably don’t care too much about how it formed. At this point, you just want some relief. Your body wants to heal a canker sore and it typically has the means to do it. In fact, oral injuries tend to heal faster than other parts of your body.
To foster faster healing, try to brush gently with a soft-bristled brush when you have a canker sore. The last thing you want to do is irritate this sensitive lesion even more. This also means avoiding citrus fruits, hot salsa and other trigger foods until your canker sore has dissipated. There are numerous over-the-counter products to reduce the discomfort of a canker sore, including gels or liquids that act as a numbing agent while promoting tissue healing. In most cases, your body just needs time to react and heal this oral lesion.
When to See Your Dentist
On the other hand, if you’ve been waiting longer than two weeks and your canker sore does not seem to be healing, you may need to see your dentist. A dentist can perform a quick oral cancer screening or recommend a more advanced treatment to help the canker sore heal properly. At Gainesville Dental Group, we can sympathize with patients who suffer from frequent canker sores, and we want to help. Call our office today to learn more.
Posted on behalf of Gainesville Dental Group