Understanding Canker Sores: Tips from a Dentist in Vermont

dentist in vermont

As a dentist in Vermont, I often see patients with canker sores. Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are painful sores on the inside of the mouth, on the tongue, or on the lips. They can be small or large, usually round or oval, with a white or yellow center and an inflamed red border.

What causes canker sores?

While the exact cause is unknown, several factors may contribute to their development. These include:

  • Trauma: Any injury to the mouth or biting the inside of the cheek or tongue can cause a canker sore to develop.
  • Genetics: Canker sores tend to run in families. It suggests that genetics may play a role in their development.
  • Stress: Emotional stress weakens the immune system, making it more susceptible to infections and diseases.
  • Hormonal changes: Women may be more prone to minor canker sores during their menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes.
  • Food sensitivities: Some people may develop canker sores after consuming certain foods, such as citrus fruits or spicy foods.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, folate, and iron, can increase the risk of developing canker sores.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and HIV/AIDS, can increase the risk of developing canker sores.
  • Medications: Medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), beta-blockers, and chemotherapy drugs, can increase the risk of developing canker sores.

How do I treat canker sores?

While canker sores are not contagious and usually heal on their own within one to two weeks, there are some steps you can take to ease the pain and promote healing. These include:

  1. – Avoid spicy and acidic foods that irritate the sore.
  2. – Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently around the sore.
  3. – Mouth rinses with salt water or a mouthwash that contains benzocaine to numb the pain.
  4. – Apply a topical ointment or gel to the sore, such as Orabase or Orajel.
  5. – Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation.
  6. – Get enough rest and manage stress to boost your immune system and promote healing.

If you have frequent or severe canker sores, you must see a dentist or healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions or nutritional deficiencies contributing to their development. Your dentist in Vermont can also recommend prescription-strength mouthwashes or topical medications to help ease the pain and promote healing.

Visit Bristol Park Dental | Dentist in Vermont

If you have painful sores, don’t suffer in silence. As a trusted dentist in Vermont, I invite you to schedule an appointment today with Bristol Park Dental. Our team of experienced dentists can thoroughly evaluate your oral health and offer personalized treatment recommendations to alleviate your discomfort and promote healing. 

With our commitment to patient-centered care and advanced dental technology, you can trust that you are in good hands. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, discover our other dental services like cosmetic dentistry and prosthodontics, and take the first step toward a healthier, pain-free smile.

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