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What Is a Canker Sore and What Causes It?

Canker SoreWhat Is a Canker Sore and What Causes It?

You’re enjoying your lunch or dinner, and then you suddenly stop because of the sharp pain you felt in your gums. You excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to check out your mouth and notice round, white or grayish sores. You’ve got a canker sore.

Canker sores refer to small ulcers that appear in the mouth. Often, these sores make eating and talking painful or uncomfortable.

Canker sores are classified into two types: simple and complex canker sores. Simple canker sores can appear three to four times a year, usually in people aged between 10 to 20 years old. These canker sores often last for a week.

Types of Canker Sores 

Complex canker sores are not as common as simple canker sores. You are likely to get these canker sores if you have had them before.

Symptoms of canker sores include pain that comes from either the sore or other parts of your mouth (soft palate, tongue, cheeks), and a burning sensation before these sores emerge. Sometimes, people with canker sores experience other symptoms like fever, sluggishness, and swollen lymph nodes.

Cold Sores

Sometimes, people mistake canker sores for cold sores. These two types of sores are different. Cold sores, also known as herpes simplex type 1 and fever blisters, are caused by a virus and can be spread from one person to another. Additionally, cold sores can be found outside of the mouth, unlike canker sores which are found inside of the mouth.

To date, medical and dental experts still do not know what exactly causes canker sores. A lot of these experts suggest that canker sores may be caused by trauma or stress, although there are some types of foods, especially acidic ones, which can also cause these sores to appear and aggravate the associated pain. People who wear braces or poor-fitting dentures may also suffer from canker sores.

Cure for Canker Sore

To date, no cure for canker sores has been developed. And if you have had these sores before, it is likely that these will come back. Typically, these sores will disappear from a few days to two weeks without requiring treatment.

If you notice that: the sores have become larger or seem to be spreading; they have lasted more than three weeks, or they have become too painful, or if you are having difficulty drinking or are suffering from high fever, you need to go to a dentist as soon as possible.

Although canker sores are incurable, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent these sores from recurring.

As much as possible, avoid food and drinks that irritate your mouth, including spicy and acidic foods. Also, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush in cleaning your mouth. Make it a habit to brush and floss daily to keep your mouth free from food particles that may trigger canker sores.

Another possible cause of canker sores is poor health, especially cases which are due to nutritional problems or diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract.

If you are looking for a great dentist in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!


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