If you’ve ever had a canker sore, you may be wondering why you developed it in the first place. This bothersome mouth sore can be painful and troublesome. Children especially don’t like the pain and swelling that come with canker sores. Rest assured that canker sores are non-contagious lesions that appear in the mouth on gums, lips, cheeks. You can even have a canker sore on the roof of your mouth. Medically speaking, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of canker sores. There are a number of reasons canker sores develop including:
• Irritation caused from braces
• Higher than normal stress levels
• Allergies and food allergies
• Bacterial infections
• Nutritional imbalance
• Vitamin deficiency
• A compromised immune system
No one can avoid canker sores all together, even hard tooth brushing and biting the inside of the mouth can cause canker sores. There are ways to reduce the pain and discomfort of a canker sore. You can gently apply a paste of baking soda and water to the sore area. Let sit for about 5 minutes and rinse with a warm salt water mixture. If you get canker sores regularly a daily dose of Vitamin B12 can reduce the frequency and duration of these bothersome sores. For fast pain relief, you can purchase topical over the counter products like Orajel to put directly on the irritation. Using an antiseptic mouthwash is an effective way to prevent sores from developing. Of course, finding healthy ways to help reduce stress is a good idea in general and will help avoid chronic canker sores from developing.
Food can be a trigger for canker sores in certain people. Hot and spicy foods are known irritants and will sometimes inflame canker sores. An ingredient called SLS that is found in certain toothpastes can irritate canker sores as well. Most people choose to leave their canker sores alone; as they typically heal in about a week. If you have a canker sore that does not clear up in a two week period, consult your dentist immediately as this could be a sign of a more serious oral health care condition.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Cowen Dental Care