Canker sores can be excruciating and seem to last for weeks. Recognizing trigger points that might result in canker sores is a good first step in prevention; unfortunately the origin of canker sores cannot be attributed to a single food, act or event. Your dentist should be consulted if canker sores are persistent (lasting longer than three weeks) or if a fever is present.
Canker sores form on the soft tissue inside the mouth. They are thought to occur due to a break in the mucous membrane in cheeks or on the tongue, roof of the mouth or even near the throat. Most canker sores are small in size, and might appear as a whitish circle or oval at their onset. The discomfort that accompanies these mouth sores can be responsible for disrupting day to day life due to difficulty in eating and speaking.
Canker sores can range from a minor ulcer to a severe outbreak that ultimately requires professional treatment to heal.
Although girls seem to suffer this malady more often than boys, hormones do not seem to have a direct correlation. A primary cause can be more directly related to mouth trauma like abrasions from braces or even something as insignificant as a corn chip scraping against tissue can initiate the onset of a canker sore.
Once canker sores appear, they are likely to reoccur. Some patients report that they are troubled with canker sores monthly while others might suffer only a few times per year. Frequent sufferers might experiment with their diet to eliminate foods that seem to trigger canker sores like citrus fruits or spicy foods.
Other potential causes that should be considered are sleep habits, stress and diets deficient of the nutrients to keep the mouth and body in good health.
But since mouth trauma is a known cause for a canker sore to develop, steps you can take for prevention include:
- People who wear braces can place wax over areas that rub against soft tissue
- Take care when brushing to avoid an accidental bump with your toothbrush
- Be more aware when eating foods that might cause an abrasion
If canker sores do develop, our dental team serving North Dallas can provide a variety of products that might bring relief. Mouthwashes and medications are available that may help ease discomfort, but will not actually heal the sores – only time can do that.