Canker sores are small-sized ulcers which can form in the mouth, or on the cheeks, lips, tongue, gums, and on the roof of your mouth. They can be caused by a number of different things, and are not contagious, but should be taken seriously if they last a particularly long time or recur frequently. Dr. Gibbs is always happy to educate our patients about the causes and management of canker sores, and recommends that you schedule an appointment if you are experiencing unusual pain or discomfort from any oral health issue.
How Canker Sores Form
Canker sores can be triggered by incidental trauma, such as a toothbrush jab in the cheek, biting your cheek, or overly vigorous brushing. They can also be triggered by vitamin deficiency, a weak immune system, inadequate sleep, excess stress or fatigue, menstruation, or even spicy foods. Fortunately, canker sores are not contagious, and can’t be passed through contact with other people.
Treating a Canker Sore
Alleviating the discomfort of a canker sore starts with avoiding foods that make a canker sore worse, such as foods with sharp edges like nachos, highly acidic foods and beverages like carbonated sodas, and foods which are very spicy or hot. You can also try to manage any associated pain by taking over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Most canker sores should clear up in a week or so, but if you find yourself getting frequent or very long-lasting canker sores, make an appointment with Dr. Gibbs so that he can screen you for more serious oral health concerns.