Canker sores are mouth sores that plague millions of people. They are actually ulcerations of the skin lining the inside of the mouth, leaving the sensitive tissue underneath exposed to the contents of the mouth.
For some, canker sores are just a minor nuisance. For others, canker sores are constant sources of pain and discomfort. It appears that what we eat may influence the severity of an episode of canker sores. Some people have allergies to certain foods, and consumption of these foods can aggravate canker sores.
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Oral trauma to the inside of the mouth can irritate or even initiate canker sores. Trauma can be caused by simply biting the lip or the inside of the mouth. This can often be an unconscious habit or can occur during sleep. If this happens to you, visit your dentist for a night mouth guard. Eating hard candy, which after being crunched forms sharp edges, can also injure soft mouth tissues.
Dentures that don’t fit properly can irritate adjacent oral tissue, resulting in the formation of canker sores. Similar problems may be experienced by people wearing braces. The metal can rub into, and damage mouth tissues.
Your own toothbrush could also be damaging your oral tissues. Some people brush too hard applying excessive force to their gums and other oral tissues.
Canker sores have also been attributed to stress. Uncontrolled stress can cause severe medical problems including migraines, high blood pressure, heart disease, and gastric disorders. It has also been implicated as a factor contributing to canker sores.
“See your dentist promptly if a canker sore or any other sore does not heal within 14 days, or if a sore is very painful, or recurs frequently.”
Several options exist for treating canker sores. You no longer have to suffer the severe pain often associated with these mouth ulcers. Consult your dentist who may prescribe a topically applied corticosteroid in gel or cream form, which when applied 3 to 4 times a day, works extremely well for many people. Corticosteroids act by treating the inflammation associated with canker sores.
The dentist may also prescribe an analgesic compound containing topical anesthetic that is particularly effective at providing relief for canker sore sufferers.
Finally, although canker sores are not caused by a virus or bacteria, antimicrobial mouthwashes have been shown to be beneficial in reducing canker sore pain. Prescription mouthwashes which contain chlorhexidine gluconate are especially effective, but should be used in moderation and only at the direction of your dentist.
See your dentist promptly if a canker sore or any other sore does not heal within 14 days, or if a sore is very painful, or recurs frequently.
Yours for better dental health,
This article has been updated from it’s original posting in June of 2012.
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