Canker sores are small lesions that form on the soft tissues on the mouth, usually on the tongue, gums, or inside of the cheek. They are painful and can make it difficult to eat or speak. Generally, canker sores are not serious and go away on their own. However, it’s important to know how to identify them so you can determine when you should see our dentist if you believe it’s something more serious. Our dentist in Chicago explains more below.
Canker sores are distinct from cold sores – they are not contagious, and they don’t form on the outside of your lips. The sore sometimes presents with a white or yellow border around it and is painful to the touch. Canker sores often recur and have known triggers for developing them.
There is not one single cause of canker sores; however, there are some known triggers that can bring on the condition, including:
There are two common types of canker sores that you may experience, including:
Minor canker sores – these are small, oval-shaped sores with a red edge. They heal within one to two weeks.
Major canker sores – these are less common than minor canker sores. They are large, deep, round with borders and can be extremely painful. These can take up to six weeks to heal and may leave a scar.
Try to avoid known triggers if you have recurring canker sores. If they do occur, take some at-home steps to help them heal faster. Brush carefully, avoid spicy or acidic foods, and use a saltwater mouth rinse to keep the sore clean. You can also apply ice to reduce inflammation.
A minor canker sore should heal within two weeks. You should contact our office or call your doctor if you regularly experience unusually large, severely painful canker sores that don’t go away, sores that extend into the lips, or a high fever along with canker sores.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office in Chicago by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.