Sore Subject: Caring For Canker Sores

A canker sore is a small, albeit painful, mouth sore that can occur on your tongue, gums, palate, lips and cheeks. Some people are unfortunately more susceptible to canker sores, but unlike cold sores they are not contagious as they aren’t caused by a virus. About half the population will experience a cold sore at one point in their life. If you’re part of that lucky half, then here’s a little more information on canker sores and how to handle them:gingivitis

  • The cause of canker sores is not completely agreed on. However some theories of their cause include spicy or irritating foods (like citrus fruits), an injury to the mouth, menstruation, a surge in stress levels and lip/cheek chewing.

  • Rinse your mouth after eating anything spicy or highly acidic to help restore the pH of your mouth and prevent canker sores.

  • Canker sores last around 3 days to a week. A canker sore that lasts longer than 2 weeks should be biopsied to make sure that is not something else.

  • Abstain from chewing on or picking at your lips or the inside of your cheek.

  • Rinsing with warm salt water can help soothe and clean out a canker sore. Some people believe that applying a small amount of salt directly to the canker sore can help speed up healing, by “sucking it dry.”

  • Other people say dipping a q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and applying that directly to the canker sore can also help with healing.

  • To reduce pain and discomfort you can rub a small amount of numbing ointment or soothing gel on the sore.

  • If the sore is extremely painful and persistent your doctor may prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash to help get rid of it.

Greenspoint Dental wants your mouth completely healthy! Call Dr. Bosse to schedule an appointment to keep your mouth happy!