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Canker sores – those persistent, painful spots of agony that make any idle moment a wait for the pain to go away. Let’s talk about why they happen and how you can help to prevent them.

Cankers are shallow sores in the mouth that appear as white or yellow circles with a red border on the insides of your mouth. There are many things believed to cause canker sores, but the exact reason they form are unknown. Tissue damage from sharp teeth or braces and feeling stressed are thought to cause many sores, while other may be caused by acidic foods such as citrus fruits. Vitamin deficiencies can also factor into to canker sores, as well as some diseases like celiac disease.

Canker sores can be rather painful, but the ache generally lessens after a half a week and is most often completely healed up inside a week or two. Larger canker sores can take longer to heal. If you have a sore that persists painfully for longer than 3 weeks, contact our dentist right away.

Small canker sores don’t normally need care, but large, long-lasting, or remarkably painful sores often need treatment. They can be cauterized using dental lasers or silver nitrate, and this usually provides immediate pain relief. Be sure to inquire with Dr. Amir Nikraz about this if you have a long-lasting canker. A steroid mouth wash can lessen the inflammation and pain of a canker, and there are a number of prescription and over-the-counter topical medicines that can help reduce the pain and help heal faster.

Your daily habits can affect your chances of recurrent canker sores. To reduce your likelihood, follow these tips:

  • Avoid foods that irritate your mouth, including acidic fruits and vegetables, spicy foods, and abrasive or salty foods.
  • Avoid irritating your mouth when chewing gum.
  • Brush with a soft-bristled tooth brush after eating to remove foods that may trigger sores.
  • If you have braces or dentures, ask your dentist about orthodontic waxes to cover any sharp edges.
  • Reduce your stress. Since some canker sores can be related to stress, meditation and guided relaxation can help prevent recurring sores.

If you have unusually large sores, or sores that are spreading, persist 3 weeks or longer, have unusually intense pain even after taking over-the counter pain medication, or a high fever with the sores, contact Artistic Dentistry in San Clemente, California, today. Your sore may be more serious and need professional care.

If you have more questions about canker sores, please call us today at 949-366-1177, and we’ll be happy to help you.