What Are Canker Sores?

dark haired woman touching her lower lip that has a canker sore

If you’ve ever had a canker sore, you know just how annoying they can be. These small, shallow sores develop inside your mouth due to irritation. While canker sores typically go away on their own after a couple weeks, they can be painful in the meantime. Canker sores are relatively common, but they are not serious. Because there are so many misconceptions around canker sores, today our team wants to bust some myths about the causes and treatments of canker sores.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores can develop after impact to the mouth. Canker sores can also be caused by irritation in the mouth from orthodontic treatment or other oral hardware. A diet high in acid can trigger canker sores or make existing canker sores worse. Most canker sores last from one to three weeks, with larger, more severe ones lasting longer than that. Typically canker sores are only painful for 7-10 days.

Canker Sores vs. Cold Sores

Many people, our patients included, confuse cold sores with canker sores. Canker sores occur inside the mouth on the soft tissue or gums, while cold sores can occur on the surface of your lips. While cold sores are contagious, canker sores are not contagious.

How Can You Get Rid of a Canker Sore?

Dr. McNeely rarely needs to treat canker sores, as they typically will go away on their own. To help ease the irritation caused by a canker sore, you can try rinsing with warm salt water or baking soda. If you have a canker sore that is causing you pain or discomfort, let our team know. We can share some tips for easing the pain and help you determine whether your pain is a sign of a more serious condition. To ask us any questions about canker sores or to schedule your next visit, call us today!

Leave a Reply

McNeely Family Dentistry