A healthy smile means being free from tooth decay and gum disease. However, oral issues can still arise, and one of them is canker sores. These sores in the mouth are tiny, shallow, ulcers that can make eating and speaking rather unpleasant because they are painful.
Today, our dentist, Dr. Keith Dodge and our dental team in Orem, Utah, are going to talk a little bit about canker sores and how they affect your smile.
Essentially, there are two kinds of canker sores. One type is known as a “simple” canker sore which can show up four times in a year, lasting for up to a week at a time. Who tends to get these canker sores? Usually, younger people ages 10 – 20 are more likely to develop this version. The second kind of canker sore is known as a “complex” canker sore, but this kind is less common and tends to show up in people who have had them before.
So what causes these oral ulcers? The most typical cause is stress and injury to the oral tissues. Acid is another cause, such as eating too many acidic fruits and vegetables. Another source of canker sores is problems with oral appliances, such as braces rubbing soft oral tissue, dentures which are loose, or a malfunctioning retainer.
Treating canker sores is usually unnecessary, as they tend to heal on their own, typically within a week. However, should they persist and cause too much pain, your dentist can remove the sore with a dental laser treatment. Meanwhile, if they are too hard to ignore, you can apply an over-the-counter topical paste or use a mouth rinse with dexamethasone to help with pain and swelling.
If you want to know more about canker sores or about other issues of the mouth, please call our office at 801-225-8060 today. Our dental team is here to help you with all of your oral care needs!