Caring for Canker Sores

Have you ever had a small painful sore on the inside of your lip or along your gum line? Chances are good that it was a canker sore. These small ulcers form for unknown reason in the mouths of millions of people each year. They can make simple acts, such as brushing one’s teeth, eating a meal, or even talking painful, depending on their location and severity.

There are two different types of canker sore, actually. The simple canker sore is what most people will experience, at least once, during their lifetimes. They are most common in the earlier years of life, especially between the ages of ten and twenty years. However, a less common form does exist. It is referred to as the ‘complex canker sore’. Unfortunately, for those prone to canker sores, these larger, more severe sores could be in your future. They can appear one at a time or in clusters and may take longer to heal than the simple variety. If there is concern over the length of the healing time, it might be wise to speak to a dentist in Waco, as it might point to some other type of complication.

As mentioned above, the reason for the appearance of canker sores is not entirely understood. There are theories that the mini ulcers are linked to certain types of acidic foods or even to stress. There is some evidence that irritation of the skin, such as what might be caused by a sharp braces wire, could lead to the formation of a canker sore. In some instances, the worst sores – those of the complex variety – are linked to underlying health conditions, which is why a trip to the Waco dentist is advised if the healing times drag out. It could be a sign of a failing immune system or certain nutritional deficiencies.

If you discover a painful sore within your mouth, there are a few things that you can do to relieve the discomfort. Over the counter pain medications, such as Tylenol, and topical antiseptics, such as Orajel or Anbesol, can ease the discomfort while the sore heals. Avoiding acidic foods and drinking cold water can also keep the pain to a minimum. If they are not healing in a timely manner, continue to form repeatedly, or are particularly large and painful, there are some treatments that a dentist can perform. These include prescription strength antimicrobial mouthwashes and corticosteroid ointments. You should definitely make an appointment to be seen, if the sores are larger than usual, they seem to be spreading, if they last more than three weeks, if you notice the onset of a fever in conjunction with them, or if they make it difficult to drink

Although it is not possible to completely prevent canker sores, there are a few measures that might be taken, if you are prone to them. For instance, avoiding acidic or overly spicy foods, brushing with a softer brush, quitting the use of tobacco products, and having any concerns about dental equipment (i.e. dentures, braces, etc.) addressed immediately, can mean eliminating some of the potential causes.

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