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August 15, 2021

Facts About Canker Sores: Treatment, Prevention, & More

Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are relatively small but painful lesions. They develop on the soft tissues in the mouth or at the base of the gums.

Stock photo of canker sores on lower lip

If you notice a yellow or white sore surrounded by red, inflamed soft tissue in your mouth, then you might have a canker sore. Though harmless in most cases, a mouth ulcer can cause pain and discomfort, making it difficult for you to eat, drink, speak, and brush your teeth.

The following facts about canker sores should help you understand their symptoms, causes, treatments, the preventive steps to take, and when to see a dentist in Irvine-Montclair, CA.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

The most common canker sore symptoms include:

In some instances, these symptoms may also arise:

Canker sores are not contagious. They usually heal within one to three weeks without treatment, and the pain often dissipates within seven to ten days. However, a serious canker sore may take up to six weeks to heal.

Why do canker sores form?

Some of the common causes and factors that may aggravate a mouth ulcer include:

In some cases, the cause of a canker sore is uncertain.

What are the treatments for canker sores?

Fortunately, most canker sores heal without treatment. But if you’re looking for natural remedies that can soothe mouth sores and prevent infections, these lifestyle changes can help:

Certain ingredients in over-the-counter topical products can also help relieve and heal mouth sores. These include:

The best California dentists may prescribe:

What is the difference between canker sores and cold sores?

The main difference between canker sores and cold sores is that the latter can develop on the outside of your mouth, including your lips, nose, cheeks, and ears. Cold sores initially appear as blisters, not as inflamed ulcers, and become sores later on when the blisters burst.

Furthermore, unlike canker sores, herpes simplex virus is the primary cause of cold sores, which spreads from person to person through close contact. If you think herpes is the reason behind your mouth sores, see a doctor right away.

What are the complications of canker sores?

If your canker sore does not heal and you leave it untreated, you may experience more serious complications, such as:

See a doctor or dentist if your canker sore is causing you intolerable pain, has begun interfering with your daily life, and when home remedies are not working. Also, contact your doctor as soon as possible if the complications mentioned occur within a week or two of the sore appearing. A bacterial infection can spread and cause more serious issues to arise, making it crucial to stop a bacterial cause of a canker sore immediately.

Are there tips on how to prevent canker sores?

You can prevent the recurrence of canker sores or mouth sores with the following tips:

Contact your physician or dentist right away if you develop:

What if it’s not a canker sore?

If a canker sore or cold sore is not the problem, then a tooth abscess might be the culprit, which can spread to the jaw and other areas of your head and neck. If you live near Irvine or Montclair, CA and suspect an abscessed tooth, contact our emergency dentist by dialing (855) 328-6646 now.

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