What Causes Canker Sores?

Posted on: September 28, 2018

What are canker sores?

Life has its little irritations and canker sores are one of them. Canker sores are small, shallow lesions that form in the mouth. They are pale (either grey or white) and surrounded by inflamed soft tissue. They are found on the tongue, the cheeks, the inside of the lips or the back of the mouth. Canker sores are not contagious and usually heal by themselves after a week or two.

What are the common causes of canker sores?

Most of the time, canker sores are caused by injury to the mouth. This happens from accidental biting or cutting of the cheek or tongue. The sores can also be a result of sensitivity to foods like pineapple, nuts, eggs or spicy foods. Oral hygiene products made with sodium lauryl sulfate have also been known to cause canker sores. An allergy to certain bacteria found in the mouth can also lead to sores.

Who is likely to get canker sores?

  • People with vitamins B3, B12, B9 and mineral deficiencies
  • People who have H. Pylori, the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers
  • People who suffer from chronic conditions like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis
  • People with an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack healthy cells in the mouth
  • People under constant stress
  • Women, as they go through hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
  • People with a family history of canker sores
  • Teens and young adults

What are the symptoms?

  • A person may feel a tingling or burning sensation just before the canker sore erupts
  • The appearance of a round sore that is grey or white at the center and red at the edges
  • Pain or irritation when eating, drinking or talking

Symptoms to worry about

Canker sores can become severe in which case, the doctor should be consulted immediately. The following symptoms should be taken seriously:

  • Sores that last more than two weeks
  • Large sores
  • Sores that erupt frequently and consistently
  • Sores that extend to the border of the lips
  • Extra painful sores that make it hard to eat or drink
  • Fever and swollen lymph nodes

Treatments and remedies for canker sores

Canker sores often heal by themselves. To reduce discomfort and hasten the healing process, the sores can be treated with a number of oral treatments. Home remedies like gurgling warm salt water or eating yogurt can help make the sores better. Over the counter oral medications like hydrogen peroxide mouth rinses are also helpful. In addition, a doctor or dentist may prescribe an antiseptic mouthwash with ingredients like lidocaine to relieve pain and inflammation.

Make canker sores a distant memory

Most canker sores are from injuries caused by the teeth. In such cases, a dentist should be asked to fix the offending teeth or dental appliances. Avoiding foods and other substances that trigger canker sores also minimizes the chances of getting one.

When canker sores are caused by underlying conditions, managing chronic conditions and taking preventative measures will make the sores a thing of the past. As an example, a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will prevent canker sores and a host of other ailments. Destressing your life is another great way to keep your mouth (and body) healthy.

And as always, good dental hygiene makes a world of difference. Contact one of our dentists if you are dealing with canker sores.

Are you considering canker sore treatment in the Denham Springs area? Get more information at https://www.sandeferpremierdental.com.


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