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Canker sores – those persistent, painful spots of agony that make each moment you’re not distracted by something else an absolute drain. Let’s talk about what they are and how you can prevent them.

Cankers are shallow lesions in the mouth that appear as white or yellow ovals with a red border on the insides of your cheeks or lips, under your tongue, and on the roof of your mouth. There are many things thought to trigger cankers, but the exact causes are unknown. Stress and tissue damage are thought to be the cause of many sores, while others may be caused by acidic foods. Vitamin deficiencies can contribute to canker sores, as well as certain diseases, like celiac disease.

Canker sores can be very painful, but the pain generally lessens after a few days and is completely healed without treatment in a week or two. Larger canker sores can take longer to heal. If you have a sore that persists painfully for longer than 3 weeks, contact our dentist right away.

Small canker sores don’t generally need direct treatment, but large, persistent, or unusually painful sores often need care. They can be treated using dental lasers or other cauterizing equipment, and this usually provides immediate pain relief. Be sure to ask Dr. Marianne Morelli about this if you have a persistent sore. A steroid mouth rinse can reduce the inflammation and pain of a sore, and there are a number of over-the-counter and prescription topical products that can reduce the pain and speed healing.

Your daily habits can affect your chances of developing canker sores. To reduce your likelihood, follow these tips:

  1. Use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth after eating to remove irritating foods
  2. Avoid foods that can trigger sores, such as acidic fruits and veggies, abrasive or salty foods, and spicy foods. Everyone’s sensitivity is different, so learn what may trigger cankers for you.
  3. If you’ve got orthodontic appliances such as dentures or braces, ask our dentist about orthodontic wax to cover any irritating edges.
  4. Practice meditation to reduce your chance for stress-related cankers.

If you notice the following symptoms, contact Brookfield Family Dentistry, LLC in Brookfield, Connecticut, immediately. Your canker may need our dentist’s treatment.

  • Large sores
  • Sores that last for 3 weeks or longer
  • A sore that is still unusually painful, even after applying medicine
  • A high fever associated with the cankers

If you have more questions about canker sores, please call us today at 203.775.6167, and we’ll be happy to help you.