If you have a propensity for canker sores, you know how painful they can be. The burning pain associated with these small mouth sores can intensify when exposed to certain foods and beverages, and make it challenging to keep up with good teeth brushing habits. Patients with regular occurrences of canker sores can feel frustrated if they are unable to pinpoint the cause. Dr. Brad Greenfield, your Lake Orion dentist, offers you an overview of the cause and treatment of canker sores.
Identifying Canker Sores
Found on the cheeks, under the tongue, or inside the lips, canker sores are lesions referred to as aphthous ulcers. They can be quite common among children, teens, and adults. Their appearance is generally round, or oval, and either yellow or white in color. Once you have had one canker sore, it is easy to identify when another one is coming on by the discomfort they cause, followed by their subsequent appearance.
What Causes Them?
That is the question. Some experts think immune deficiencies are responsible. Others say gluten sensitivity, hormones, or reaction to temperature could be factors. Certain patients swear they get a canker sore any time they indulge in a citrus fruit or juice, while extreme stress and fatigue seem a more likely precursor for others. There is no definitive scientific proof as to the cause of aphthous ulcers. The best way to determine the cause of your canker sores is to eliminate any suspected triggers, one-by-one, until the actual trigger is revealed.
There is no cure for canker sores at this time, but there are remedies to make you more comfortable while your body heals. Severe canker sores may be relieved with topical ointments that your general physician can prescribe. Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in their correct dosages for your age, can aid in soothing the ache of the ulcers. You can try sucking on zinc lozenges, swishing gently with a sage-and-chamomile mouthwash, or adding vitamin C and B-complex supplements to your diet.
Canker sores are irritating, but should go away quickly without medical intervention. If you have any kind of sore in your mouth that lasts longer than a week, the American Dental Association and Dr. Greenfield recommend you visit your dentist for an oral cancer screening. Call Lake Orion Family Dentistry at 248-693-6213 today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve families from Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, as well as many other areas in southeast Michigan.