A canker sore is a shallow, ulcer-like lesion that typically surrounds the mucous membranes of the mouth. They are very common and usually appear as red or white lesions on the soft tissues inside of the mouth.
Canker sores are not contagious, but it is important to note if you experience multiple occurrences over time, you should be referred for further examination by an oral surgeon or otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor).
How Can You Tell If You Have Canker Sores?
There are a few telltale signs of canker sores. Here are the common symptoms:
- small round or oval lesions that appear inside the mouth without a clear cause
- pain and/or swelling in affected areas
- lesions which eventually rupture and crust over leaving an open sore behind which will heal on its own
When Do Canker Sores Appear?
Canker sores can be triggered by stress, fatigue, menstruation, injury or illness, certain foods (like nuts), acidic food/liquids, or excess caffeine intake.
What Can You Do for Your Canker Sores?
To begin with, in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth daily, it is highly recommended that you rinse out your mouth with salt water at least two times per day. Eating yogurt with live cultures or taking Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements may also help in alleviating canker sores effects.
Another good remedy for canker sores is to rub an ice cube directly on the sore area. Although, at first it will cause temporary discomfort, in a few minutes you should feel relief from pain and inflammation if applied consistently.
Additionally, there are also other remedies that people have used in the past with mixed results. If you would like to try them out just remember that the effects may not bring instant relief.
When to Talk to a Dentist
When your canker sores do not heal within a few weeks, it is time to visit your dentist. In some cases, they may need to administer a biopsy to determine the underlying cause of the ulcerations and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
In case you have multiple canker sores, make sure that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Also, avoid foods that increase mouth acidity, like candy, citrus fruits, or tomatoes.
A New Hyde Park dentist can also help by performing a thorough oral examination and assessing the overall health of your teeth and gums. They may also discuss certain dietary changes or other possible factors that contribute to recurring sores.
A Lake Success dentist can usually help by providing pain relief for the sores or lesions with topical anesthetics or prescription medication. They may also recommend using desensitizing agents to reduce the amount of pain experienced when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods and drink.
In extreme cases, dentists may prescribe stronger medications to help speed up the healing process by fighting the infection or inflammation.
If you would like more information on canker sores and what a New Hyde Park dentist can do for them, please contact us today!