Canker Sores: Treatment And Prevention

Posted on: 12 November 2014

One of the worst things that can happen to you during the holiday season is the development of canker sores in your mouth. Although you might be determined to do so, eating turkey and all the fixings while in pain is not the best way to enjoy your holidays. Fortunately, you can treat sores you have and even stop the development of others. 

What Is a Canker Sore?

You might have had a canker sore in the past, but did not know the medical term for it. A canker sore is a lesion that develops in your mouth. It is not contagious, but it can be painful and interfere with your ability to eat and talk. 

The sore can appear in practically any place in your mouth, including on the tongue. The sore could be small, large, or even appear in a cluster. Depending on the size of your sore, you might not have any scarring when the sore has healed. 

The development of canker sores usually occurs as a result of food sensitivities, allergies, stress, and hormonal changes. Some conditions increase the likelihood that you will develop canker sores. Those conditions include HIV, inflammatory bowel disease, and Celiac disease.

How Is a Canker Sore Treated?

If you have a minor canker sore, it will usually go away within a week or two without any treatment. Large canker sores or those that persist beyond two weeks might require treatment from the dentist

Treatment options your dentist can use include prescription mouth rinses that contain steroids. The steroids help to reduce the pain associated with canker sores. Topical pastes and oral medications can help keep pain in check and also help speed recovery time.

How Is a Canker Sore Prevented?

Unfortunately, canker sores can recur. You can prevent this from happening or at least decrease the frequency with which they occur by taking certain steps. Good dental hygiene is one move you can take. In addition to this, you can: 

  • Avoid stress. Stress reduction activities like massage therapy and mediation can help you keep your stress levels low.
  • Avoid irritating foods. Foods such as oranges, pineapples, nuts, and chips can irritate the inside of your mouth.
  • Use orthodontic wax. If you have braces, ask your dentist for orthodontic wax. The wax will help to protect your mouth from sharp edges. 

Canker sores are an unpleasant experience, but you can treat them if they get out of hand. Seek help from your dentist to help you treat stubborn canker sores.