Mouth Sores and Prevention
Millions of people, including children, get canker sores and cold sores every single year. These mouth sores are very uncomfortable and make drinking certain types of beverages and eating difficult, depending upon the stage of the sore, size and location in or outside the mouth.
What is a Canker Sore?
A canker sore is actually an ulcer in a person’s mouth. There are simple and complex canker sores. A simple one can last for approximately 7 days and occur about 4 times each year. Normally, it affects age ranges from 10 to 20 years old.
Complex canker sores are not as common and recur in individuals who have had them before. Both types are often confused with cold sores, which is incorrect. These particular types of mouth sores are not related to the herpes virus.
Causes of Canker Sores
There are many different reasons a person can get a canker sore. The exact cause is based on the individual and their underlying factors, including diet.
One of the known reasons for canker sores comes from stress or injury, and also metal braces that continually rub against the inside of the mouth. If a person is under a lot of stress or injures their mouth somehow, a canker sore can present itself. Usually, worrying about the sore each day and obsessing over it doesn’t help it heal quickly. Reduce your stress level, try meditation and getting away from the actual object or place temporarily that’s causing the stressful event(s).
Surprisingly, vitamin deficiency can cause these sores, too. Worldwide, nutritional deficiencies lacking in iron, folic acid, and B12 can increase your chance of getting a canker sore. Try and get vitamins naturally in your diet, where the body can absorb 100 percent of its nutrients. Taking a vitamin supplement is not as effective for the body’s organs and tissue. A large part of supplements are discarded by the body, so only a small percentage of its effectiveness is realized.
Another common cause is from foods that are acidic, like tomatoes, oranges, and even strawberries. Sure, these foods taste great, but too much of them can cause an outbreak and burning pain that lasts for a while. Moderation of citrus and anything acidic is the key if your body has an outbreak from this type of diet.
Symptoms You Can See and Feel
Every day, do a visual check inside your oral cavity. If a sore presents itself on the roof, back, side or cheeks in the mouth, it might be a canker sore. Some people feel a tingling shortly preceding the presence of the sore itself.
They can be white or even gray and tend to have an edge that’s red. Some people experience swelling of the lymph nodes and become sluggish and even get a fever.
For most people, especially those who begin eating a more balanced diet that’s high in nutrition with the vitamins mentioned above and cutting down on acidic foods and stress, the sores will diminish in a few days and go away completely in 7-14 days.
However, if they persist, contact Lakefront Family Dentistry, and Dr. Hauser can offer some over-the-counter or prescription solutions to alleviate the pain and reduce the healing time.
Prevention of Mouth Sores
Essentially, a cure does not exist. However, as you’ve read, many people can prevent episodes from recurring through improved diet and surroundings. Even gum chewing can exacerbate a current sore, so stop until it’s gone. If you’re using a medium-to-hard toothbrush, purchase a soft one during an outbreak so brushing isn’t so painful. It will also cause less abrasion to the sores themselves so they can heal.
What is a Cold Sore?
There is a lot of confusion out there about cold sores and canker sores—and the difference between them. A cold sore is usually called a fever blister, although it’s also known as herpes simplex 1. These blisters are painful and filled with a fluid.
Cold sores are extremely contagious, so kissing or intimacy during an outbreak is not recommended. These are the types of sores you generally see on the outside of a person’s mouth, too. Places cold sores exist can be found on the outside of the chin, nose and lips. Canker sores are usually inside your oral cavity.
There is medication Dr. Derek B. Hauser, DDS, can prescribe to lessen the duration of this outbreak.
Do I Need to See My Dentist for a Mouth Sore?
That’s a great question! The one thing that’s important for a person to remember is that only a doctor or dentist can look at your oral cavity and know if the sores are cancerous. Don’t self-diagnose and think it’s just a cold sore or canker sore if it’s been three weeks and the sore is still present. High fevers and any sores that spread are NOT normal. See your dentist right away.
Call Dr. Hauser at (951) 244-9495 to Schedule an Appointment so he can Look at Your Mouth Today and Diagnose Which Condition and Course of Treatment You May Have. You Can Make an Appointment Online, too.