Conquering Canker Sores

Dr. Ash Sagar

Most of us have been there before—you wake up with a tingling in your mouth that doesn’t feel quite right. In the next couple of days, a sensitive, sometimes burning, canker sore appears.

While canker sores will typically heal on their own over the course of a few weeks, there are things you can do to prevent their occurrence and speed the process. First, let’s understand what they are.

Canker sores are small and unsightly white or yellow lesions that can erupt anywhere in the mouth. Canker sores, which are usually round or oval, can be a big pain, literally, for those who frequently suffer from them. Minor canker sores usually go away in a week or two, but bigger ones are often extremely painful and can take as long as six weeks to heal.

What Causes Cankers?

If you know what can lead to the development of canker sores, you may be able to reduce how often you get them. Try managing these triggers:

Stress: Often implicated in a variety of health issues, stress also plays a role in the development of canker sores. Limiting stress can help keep your mouth free of these bothersome blisters.

Certain foods: Acidic and spicy foods, such as citrus fruits and chili peppers, can prompt the development of canker sores. It’s also been discovered that gluten, the protein found in wheat, can play a role in canker sore growth. Consider keeping a food diary to see if the development of canker sores coincides with eating particular foods.

Vitamin deficiencies: A deficiency of folic acid, zinc or iron in the body can initiate the development of canker sores. Eating a nutrient-dense, well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Oral Care

If you have one or more canker sores, it’s important to brush gently, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Applying too much pressure could irritate an existing sore or cause a new lesion to develop. Over-the-counter canker sore remedies, including gels, liquids and patches, can be applied to the canker sore to temporarily take the pain away.

If you are bothered by frequent canker sores, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We want to help you experience optimal oral health, free from pain and discomfort!

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