Canker sores are commonly called aphthous ulcers. Canker sores are painful lesions inside the mouth. They often occur on cheeks, lips, on or under the tongue, on the roof of the mouth, on the gums, and more areas. There isn’t a single cause of canker sores; there are many things that can contribute to the formation of canker sores. Canker sores affect 20% of people. Women are more likely to get canker sores than men.
Canker Sore or Cold Sore?
There are significant differences between canker sores and cold sores. Cold sores are extremely contagious while canker sores are not. The location can usually determine what type of sore it is. If the sore is inside the mouth, it is most likely a canker sore. If it is outside of the mouth, it is probably a cold sore.
Causes of Canker Sores
There are many causes of canker sores. They can be caused by injury to the mouth, like biting the inside of the cheek. Injury can also be caused by braces, retainers, or dentures rubbing against the inside of the mouth. Canker sores may also be caused by genetics, fatigue, stress, chemotherapy, nutritional problems, menstruation, spicy foods, smoking, and more.
There is no cure for canker sores. There are, however, many ways to help with the pain and to speed up the healing process. Canker sores usually heal on their own. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated can help speed up the healing process. Rinsing with a salt water or baking soda rinse can also speed up the process, as well as prevent the sore from becoming infected.
If you find that you are getting canker sores consistently, you may be low on zinc. Taking zinc supplements may help prevent them. Pain medications, topical anesthetics, and aloe vera juice can help with the pain. Additionally, many topical anesthetics may provide a protective cover over the sore.
Canker sores are never fun, but they are a regular occurrence for many people. If they happen often, you may want to consult with a dentist to discover the underlying reason. To learn more about how to deal with canker sores, contact us at Avenues Dentistry today!