Cankers are one of the most common—and painful—types of sores in oral health. Most people suffer from cankers at some point in their lifetime, and others seem to get them constantly.
Canker sores can come out of nowhere, and nobody is fully immune from them, even those who brush and floss regularly. They make eating, drinking and even talking feel like the most painful of tasks.
At Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford, patients often visit us with canker horror stories, and we’ve given our fair share of advice for remedies and related oral health treatment. So what exactly are canker sores, and how can they be treated?
What Are Canker Sores?
A canker sore is layman for aphthous stomatitis, ulcers that form on the soft tissue in your mouth, either on the inside of your cheeks, lips or along your gum line. Canker sores are more prevalent in children and teenagers, but adults get them occasionally. A small portion of the population is known to suffer from canker sores multiple times a year for much of their life.
Cankers start off as faintly visible abrasion marks in the mouth that slightly burn or itch. As they progress, the abrasion, usually no bigger than the size of your little finger’s thumbnail, gradually turns reddish-yellow, surrounded by a pinkish-red hue. Shortly after this point, the pain of a canker sore hits its peak, and any contact with it, whether by food, liquid and even your tongue, delivers sharp stings of instant pain.
Are Canker Sores Contagious?
Fear not, for canker sores are both benign and non-contagious. But the temporary pain and severe discomfort cankers cause is still enough for many Abbotsford dental patients to seek desperate relief.
What Causes Canker Sores?
The precise causes of canker sores are not fully known, but medical experts and dental professionals generally agree that they are an immune response brought on by a variety of factors, ranging from an excess of citrus or sugar in one’s diet to stress and even genetics and hormones.
What is known is that canker sores have no permanent cure, and that they generally disappear naturally within a week or two. But there are some remedies you can seek while suffering from a canker sore to help mitigate the pain and speed up recovery.
How to Remedy Canker Sores
Different ways to treat canker sores include homemade remedies to over-the-counter products and being mindful of day-to-day habits.
As a first step, avoid trigger foods such as citrusy fruits, sugary treats and most carbonated soft drinks. Often, strong correlations between cankers on the one hand and citrus and sugar on the other hand exist, so best to play it safe.
For some people, mouth rinses help to minimize the pain. Make sure to buy a rinse that contains the ingredient dexamethasone, as studies indicate it seems to help reduce the swelling. Speak to your Abbotsford dentist at Clayburn Dental in case a prescription is needed, as rinses with this ingredient aren’t often available on store shelves.
At Clayburn Dental, we can also prescribe certain pastes you can apply to the sore topically, which help accelerate recovery time if applied regularly and properly. For particularly large and painful canker sores, you can consult with us about a laser treatment known as cauterization, whereby the part of your mouth tissue affected by the canker is chemically burned off so the pain can disappear immediately.
Speak With Us at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford
If you are suffering from a canker sore or feel like a canker is soon to develop in your mouth, always make an appointment with Clayburn Dental so we can advise on your next steps and help reduce the pain and speed the healing time.
Call us today at 604-852-8487 or request an appointment online.