Ouch! All About Canker Sores

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Canker sores can make everyday necessities like eating, drinking and talking a painful ordeal. Today we are going to dive into the topic of canker sores, how we get them, and how to prevent them.

What's a Canker Sore?

Canker sores are small, circular, shallow lesions that grow on the soft tissues of your mouth or at the base of your gums. Unlike cold sores, canker sores don't grow on the surface of your lip and they aren't contagious.

How did they get there?

One common way to develop a canker sore is from an injury to the soft tissues of your mouth... Like biting your lip or cheek, getting hit in the mouth while playing a sport, or even vigorous tooth-brushing. Some people are sensitive to toothpastes that contain the ingredient "sodium lauryl sulfate" and it leads to sores.

Certain foods can cause canker sores in some people... Citrus, acidic fruits and vegetables, chocolate, eggs, and spicy foods have been known culprits. Having a deficiency in vitamin B-12 or zinc can also be a factor.

How do I prevent them?

Apart from keeping your mouth healthy by brushing and flossing regularly, you can be careful to avoid the cold sore "triggers" mentioned above, if you suspect one (or a few even) are causing your canker sores.

When you have a canker sore, it's important not to neglect that area when it comes to oral hygiene. Plaque and bacteria can develop and cause problems. Brush gently around sores, and consider using a mouthwash formulated for cold sores.

Most canker sores heal within one week. If you are getting canker sores frequently, if the sores are spreading, or they are taking a long time to heal (three weeks or longer,) schedule a visit to McFarland Orthodontics or your regular dentist. We will assess your oral health and help you come up with a solution.

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