Canker sores are a common source of oral pain, as they make it difficult to eat or speak normally. These small lesions frequently form on the gums or soft tissues of the mouth. Although most canker sores disappear on their own without treatment, if you experience frequent or large canker sores, you should contact your dentist for an evaluation.
Canker Sore Causes
Canker sores may be caused by many factors, though in some cases, the underlying cause remains unknown. The development of canker sores is frequently associated with irritation or injury of the tissues of the mouth, including sports injuries, irritation from a dental appliance such as braces or a retainer, or an accidental cheek bite. Canker sores can also be caused by acidic or spicy foods, which may irritate oral tissues. Less common causes of canker sores include dental products containing sodium lauryl sulfate, food allergies, an allergy to the bacteria that live in your mouth, and a diet low in zinc, iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12. Canker sores can be caused by underlying health conditions as well, and are associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and HIV or AIDS.
Canker Sore Treatments
Most canker sores do not require any treatment at all. However, if you experience frequent, large, numerous, or very painful canker sores, your dentist can suggest treatment options to improve your oral health. Large sores can be cauterized and removed. If your canker sores are due to a dietary insufficiency, your dentist may recommend dietary supplements. Mouth rinses containing steroid medication can reduce inflammation and pain. Antibiotic mouth rinses or topical pastes can improve healing time. Some oral medications can be used to prevent canker sores, but are generally considered only if other treatments have failed.
Canker sores and other forms of dental pain can affect your enjoyment of everyday life. Call Dr. Kenn Kakosian D.D.S., P.C. at (212) 661-9777 to schedule a dental examination and explore your treatment options for canker sores, cavities, missing teeth, and more. You can also learn about our NYC dental practice on the web.