Canker Sores


Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. Unlike cold sores, canker sores don’t occur on the surface of your lips and they aren’t contagious. They can be painful making eating and speaking difficult.

Multiple factors may cause canker sores, including injury to the mouth, acidic or spicy foods, vitamin deficiencies, hormones, stress, or autoimmune disorders. Most canker sores require no treatment and heal on their own. To help relieve pain and speed healing, rinse your mouth with salt water or baking soda rinse (dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup warm water). Also, placing a small amount of milk of magnesia on your canker sore a few times a day will sooth that the area.

Canker sores can resolve in days or up to weeks depending on what is causing the canker sore. It sore is due to trauma (hit lip, toothbrush, etc) it will most likely be very short healing time. If the sore is due to a diet deficiency or an autoimmune disorder it may last for weeks. Make sure you can identify the cause. By doing so, you know that certain foods that are acidic or spicy may need to be avoided. If you can not identify the cause, blood tests with your physician can help rule out deficiencies or autoimmune disorders. Common offenders are typically citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, tomatoes, strawberries.) Medicine, specifically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), is another common cause

To reduce the chances of getting a canker sore:

  1. Relax: Lower Your Stress and Anxiety Levels.
  2. Chew Carefully: Avoid Small Mouth Injuries.
  3. Watch What You Eat: Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods.
  4. Treat it: Canker Sore Pain Relief (mentioned above).

If you have any dental questions or would like your kids to become a patient of ours please contact us at 970-506-1339.


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