Canker sores are very common and small and are either simple or more complex sores. Most go unnoticed and don’t cause much bother while some can make eating and talking uncomfortable. Many things can cause a canker sore, but it’s hard to pin point an exact one.
Simple canker sores tend to appear when stress or tissue injury has occurred within your mouth. Braces and dentures can cause this kind of tissue stress or injury. Foods, such as citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables, can also cause them or make them worse when already present. Complex canker sores can be brought on by certain health conditions such as an impaired immune system, nutritional problems, or gastrointestinal diseases.
The symptoms of a simple canker sore include an actual present sore inside your mouth (including the tongue, cheek, or palate) and a tingling sensation around that region before it appeared. The actual sore is round and white or gray with possibly a red edge or border. More severe canker sores can cause fevers, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes.
There are a few steps you can practice when trying to avoid canker sores. Avoid foods that might irritate your mouth such as citrus and acidic fruits and vegetables or spicy foods. Be gentle when you chew gum so you won’t cause unnecessary irritation to your mouth. When brushing your teeth, a soft bristled tooth brush will be gentler on your gums and will also free your mouth of canker sore triggering foods.
Canker sores tend to subside within a few days and can heal without treatment. If your sores are large and painful, talk to one of our dentists about getting an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help speed its recovery and ease the pain. You should also contact our office if you have a sore that has been in your mouth for longer than 3 weeks, has spread, is painful, or is unusually large.