Each year, millions of Americans are affected by painful sores in their mouths, commonly known as canker sores. More than half our population experiences this condition three to six times per year. Canker sores can be identified by their distinct appearance. They are small, round, yellowish sores which appear most frequently on the soft portions of your cheek and gums. A short-term condition, canker sores tend to disappear within seven to ten days of their onset, but may reappear less than three months later. Symptoms range from slight irritation to extreme soreness.
Americans affected by these raw, unpleasant ulcers ask themselves one simple question: “Why?” Unfortunately, the scientific community has not yet come to a definitive conclusion. We believe many factors influence the appearance and intensity of canker sores, including stress, diet, dental hygiene, and genetics. Causes vary widely from person to person and if you are experiencing an outbreak, your dentist is the first professional you should consult. Although their appearance resembles herpes and other more serious ailments, canker sores are not sexually transmitted, nor are they contagious in any way.
In addition to the causes of canker sores, victims often wonder what, if any, treatment is available; after all, significant discomfort is cause for alarm. First, there is no substitute for a visit to your dentist. However, some medications and treatments focus on alleviating pain and certain lifestyle changes also have a positive effect on canker sores. Victims who avoid sharp foods and brush their teeth softly report a substantial lessening of the pain associated with canker sores.
At Dental Expressions, we have seen far too many of our patients experience the pain and discomfort of frequent canker sores. We strive for each and every one of our patients to walk out of our office more confident and pain-free than when they walked in. Visit us today to learn about the best practices for the prevention and treatment of canker sores, and trust our dental professionals to keep your smile at its absolute best.