Preventing Canker Sores

Trouble of tooth concept Dr. Samuel Jirik and his staff want you to have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. But if you are prone to canker sores, you may not want to smile much. You know canker sores are annoying and painful, but are they something you should worry about?

What are canker sores?

Canker sores are different than cold sores, which are caused by the herpes virus and are very contagious. Cold sores are small blisters that appear on the lips or the skin around the mouth. Canker sores are not contagious, and they are the little yellowish-white ulcers that form inside your mouth.

You might have a canker sore because of certain triggers, such as:

• Stress

• Hormones

• A vitamin deficiency

• An allergy to bacteria in your mouth

• An irritation to the tissue in your mouth, which can be caused by, for instance, braces rubbing up against the inside of your cheek

• An injury to the mouth

• A reaction to sodium lauryl sulfate, which is an ingredient in some mouth rinses and toothpastes

• A food sensitivity. Foods and beverages that may cause canker sores include eggs, strawberries, nuts, cheese, chocolate, and coffee. Spicy or acidic foods may also cause canker sores.

However, you should also know that canker sores may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as an immune-suppressing disease, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease.

How can you treat a canker sore?

If you have a canker sore that is very large or does not go away in 2 weeks, you should see your doctor. He or she may prescribe a medication or mouth rinse or they may want to destroy the sore using an instrument or a chemical. Your doctor will also want to treat the cause of your canker sores, for instance, by advising you to take a vitamin supplement to make up for a vitamin deficiency.

However, most canker sores will go away on their own within 7 to 10 days. If you need some relief, you can try an over-the-counter ointment or a pain reliever.

If you are having mouth pain, Dr. Samuel Jirik and his staff can help! Call the office in Cabot, Arkansas, for an appointment. Call (501) 843-9561 today!

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