Canker Sores: A Real Sore Point
It is difficult to believe that small lesions such as canker sores can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort for a patient. A canker sore is a small ulcer (or sore) that develops inside the mouth; canker sores are usually found at the base of the gums, the insides of the cheeks, the soft palate or on the lips, although mouth canker sores can also sometimes develop on the tongue or in the throat area. A canker sore is usually colored white or yellowish, surrounded by a slightly swollen, red area.
A canker sore is usually thought of as benign and will not necessarily lead to a more serious dental problem; however, the level of discomfort that these canker sores bring is enough for any patient to want to run to the nearest dentist for some form of relief.
What Causes Canker Sores?
As there is a wide range of factors that trigger mouth canker sores, it may be challenging to pinpoint what exactly causes canker sores. You will find below a number of triggers that causes canker sores, which may also be related to a number of other factors concerning general dental health.
- An open mouth wound or incision where bacteria can penetrate and cause an infection. Biting the inside of cheeks, the lip or even the tongue can be the start of a canker sore attack.
- A weak immune system can also trigger the occurrence of canker sores; when the body does not have the strength to fight back against even the simplest of infections, canker sores can develop with the slightest laceration inside the mouth.
- Hormonal changes, which can lead to more susceptibility to canker sores development.
- Sensitivity and allergies to specific types of food. There are people who exhibit allergic reactions through small mouth sores; once infected, these sores can then develop into more painful canker sores.
Treatment & Prevention of Canker Sores
Proper dental hygiene is important if you want to live a life free from canker sores. Make sure that you regularly brush your teeth, floss, and visit your dentist for regular cleaning and checkups. You can also ask your dentist to check your teeth for any sharp edges and angles that can contribute to the development of a canker sore.
Using a toothbrush that has the right size for your mouth and teeth can also lessen the instances of canker sores developing. If you use a toothbrush that is too big for your mouth, you run the risk of hitting the inside of your cheeks and gums repeatedly, which may cause bruising and small wounds; these, in turn, can develop into canker sores.
Avoiding overly-hard and sharp food (such as chips and peanut brittle) can prevent the development of lacerations in gums, which can develop into a canker sore. Spicy food can irritate the inside of your mouth (again, possibly leading to canker sores), so slow down on your intake of hot food items.
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