Aphthous ulcers, often known as canker sores, can be an uncomfortable and painful condition affecting the oral mucosa. Moreover, these small, superficial lesions can make everyday tasks like eating and speaking painful.
Fortunately, various preventive strategies and treatment options are available to manage and reduce their symptoms. This blog post, SkyRise Dental in Thornhill, Ontario, will walk you through effective strategies for preventing and treating canker sores.
Canker Sores: What You Need to Know
They often appear as round or oval-shaped white or yellowish lesions encircled by a red border and are not contagious. Furthermore, they might appear on the inside of the lips, the cheeks, the tongue, or the gums.
Additionally, stress, mouth injuries, hormonal changes, food allergies, and underlying conditions may trigger them, but the exact cause is unknown.
Prevention Strategies for Canker Sores
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the delicate tissues in your mouth—Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and prevent inflammation.
Choose Toothpaste Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is a common chemical in many toothpaste types, and some people are sensitive to it, which may trigger them. Moreover, as a preventive measure, choose SLS-free toothpaste.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Spicy or acidic meals, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and chocolate, can irritate the oral tissues and cause them. However, you should identify and limit your consumption of such items to reduce your risk.
Stress can weaken the immune system and make you susceptible to canker sores. Moreover, you should reduce stress by practicing stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or indulging in hobbies.
Protect Your Mouth
If you participate in sports or physical activities, wear a mouth guard to prevent unintentional injuries to the mouth that can lead to canker sores.
Treatment Options for Canker Sores
Oral gels, ointments, and benzocaine or hydrogen peroxide rinses can temporarily numb the area or promote healing.
Rinse your mouth with a warm saline solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water) multiple times daily to relieve discomfort and accelerate healing.
Corticosteroids, antiviral medications, and immunomodulators may be prescribed to treat persistent or widespread canker sores.
In addition, in some cases, your dentist may recommend laser therapy to lessen pain and hasten the healing of canker sores.
When to Seek Professional Help
While most of them heal in one to two weeks, it is crucial to see a dentist if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent or huge sores
- Sores that cause significant discomfort or trouble eating
- Frequent outbreaks that interfere with daily life
- Symptoms that worsen or do not improve with home remedies
You can control and relieve canker sore pain by following these preventive measures and using the right treatments. SkyRise Dental in Thornhill, Ontario, can help you manage recurrent or severe canker sores. Make sure to call us if you have any questions.
Overall, preventing and treating canker sores requires good oral hygiene, stress management, and professional intervention.