Canker Sores: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Do you have a painful ulcer in your mouth? Chances are, it is a canker sore. Aphthous ulcers, commonly known as c sores are small lesions that develop in your mouth. Although many people think that canker sores are the same as cold sores, they are not. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not caused by a virus and are not contagious. If you live in the San Diego area and are looking for a Carlsbad dentist, a dentist in Del Mar or a dentist in Encinitas to treat a sore in your mouth, Solana Family Dental can help. The clinic is just a few minutes away from these communities.
What Are Canker Sores?
Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are shallow lesions that form on your gums, the roof of your mouth, under your tongue or soft tissue inside your mouth, such as on cheeks or lips. They can be painful and cause discomfort while eating or talking.
Aphthous ulcers are yellow, gray or white, usually forming a small circle or oval with a red border. Minor canker sores are the most common, measuring about 1 millimeter in diameter. They normally heal by themselves within two weeks and usually do not leave a scar. Major canker sores are less common. They are deeper, grow up to 1 inch in diameter and are more painful. They take longer to heal and can leave a scar.
Herpetiform canker sores, a third type, are rare. They form tiny blisters either singly or in clusters of up to 100. They are not associated with the herpes virus and are not contagious. They usually heal within two weeks and do not leave a scar.
Why Do Canker Sores Develop?
Medical professionals are not sure why canker sores develop. Although anyone can get them, they are more common in women, teens and people in their 20s. Approximately 20% of the population in the U.S. has developed one. Doctors attribute them to several causes:
- Shifts in hormones, particularly during women’s menstrual cycles.
- Reactions to spicy or acidic foods.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly vitamins B3, B12 and D, folic acid, zinc and iron.
- Brushing teeth too hard.
- Mouth injuries.
- Immune system irregularities.
If you are looking for an experienced, caring Carlsbad dentist to treat mouth sores and other oral problems, contact the professionals at Solana Family Dental.
How Should I Treat a Canker Sore?
Most canker sores do not need professional treatment. They usually go away on their own within two weeks. You can reduce mild discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or a solution of baking soda and water. However, if you have large sores, pain or recurring ulcers, your Carlsbad dentist can test for underlying medical issues and provide treatment. Laser treatments have also been known to successfully help hasten healing and eliminate discomfort quickly and painlessly.
Solana Family Dental offers a range of dental services, including preventive dentistry, braces, cosmetic dentistry and restorations. If you have mouth ulcers and would like to see a dentist in the Del Mar area or are searching for a dentist in Encinitas, call for an appointment.