Tooth Tips for Later Life

Canker Sores: What You Need to Know

Canker sores are tiny lesions which can affect the soft tissues in your mouth. Canker sores do not normally require treatment and will normally resolve themselves after a short period of time. However, if you have a persistent canker sore, it can cause a lot of discomfort. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about canker sores.

The symptoms of canker sores

The first sign that you have a canker sore is a tingling or burning sensation in your mouth. This is normal develops into a sharp pain. If you inspect the site of the pain, you will find a small yellow or white sore which is oval or round in shape. The area surrounding the sore may be red.

The treatment for canker sores

There are many home remedies for canker sores. These frequently involve making a bottle of mouthwash so you can rinse your mouth out. Try mixing ½ teaspoon salt with 8 ounces of water and washing this around your mouth, being careful not to swallow any. Alternatively, you could mix a ½ tablespoon of Benadryl with 1 or 2 tablespoons of Maalox, rinsing your mouth out with the mixture four times a day.

There is also a range of over-the-count ointments and creams which are specially designed for the treatment of canker sores. If you would like more information about these treatments, you should speak with your dentist or a pharmacist.

The causes of canker sores

A number of things can cause canker sores. The primary cause is some form of irritation to the soft tissues in the mouth. For example, if you are using a toothbrush which has very hard bristles, this may be triggering the formation of canker sores in your mouth. You should try switching to a softer toothbrush.

Spicy foods can also trigger canker sores. If you are frequently affected by canker sores, you should avoid spicy foods and any acidic fruits such as lemons, pineapples and oranges.

Stress can also trigger canker sores. If you are experiencing a lot of stress, you should take steps to address this. Speak with your doctor about therapy or medication which may help. You may also wish to practice meditation or other relaxation techniques.

If you would like further advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should contact your dentist. The dentist will carry out a check-up of your dental health before recommending any further treatment.