Canker sores are not only annoying, but they can be painful and distracting from your everyday life. Those of us who suffer from them routinely know just how maddening they can be. While most people will get them from time to time, many of us don’t know exactly what these pesky little ulcers are or the best ways to go about avoiding them. If you’d like to know more about canker sores and how to avoid them, keep reading to get informed!
Are all canker sores created equal?
There are actually two distinct types of canker sores: simple and complex. Simple canker sores generally appear in younger people aged 10 to 20 and will last for less than a week at a time. People who get simple canker sores can expect to see them pop up about three or four times in a year. On the other hand, complex canker sores are rarer in patients and typically recur in people who’ve experienced them before.
We’re not entirely sure why we get them.
The jury is still out on the exact cause of these little ulcers, but stress or damage to tissue is often looked at as a cause of simple canker sores. Foods that are high in acid, like citrus fruits or tomatoes, can trigger or worsen the effects of a canker sore. Oftentimes, sufferers of complex canker sores also have another medical condition such as an immune deficiency, nutritional deficiencies, or gastrointestinal diseases like Celiac or Crohn’s.
Once I’ve developed a canker sore, what can I do?
Most canker sores will go away on their own in a few days, but if the pain is too much to handle, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller to help lessen it. In severe cases, your dentist can use laser treatments to relieve symptoms almost immediately.
If you want to avoid them in the future, try a few options.
If you get canker sores frequently, try to take notice of which foods you ate before they developed and avoid these in the future. Oftentimes, acidic or spicy foods can trigger canker sores, so it’s best to limit your exposure to these types of food. Chewing gum is also a known precursor to canker sores, so it may be time to pick up a different habit if gum is a favorite of yours! Lastly, keeping up with a diligent oral health routine will help reduce the amount of potentially harmful bacteria and food particles in your mouth, which should reduce the development of canker sores.
Luckily for most of us, canker sores go away on their own and become less and less frequent as we age. If you notice that your canker sores are spreading, growing in size, or lasting longer than a few weeks, however, it’s time to call the dentist to have your oral health evaluated.
If you have questions or concerns about canker sores, or if you’d like to schedule a routine checkup, give us a call at TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, and Hegewisch today!