There are an estimated 3 million canker sore cases a year. But knowing that these annoying and painful sores affect nearly everyone doesn’t necessarily make them any easier to tolerate when they happen to you. At our dental office in Sacramento, we understand that canker sores are uncomfortable and can hurt. That’s why we’re here to share some information about canker sores and how you can help ease their discomfort.
Signs of a Canker Sore
If you suspect you have a canker sore, look for the following common symptoms:
- In the early stages of canker sore development, you may experience a burning or tingling sensation before you actually see a sore.
- Blister-like sores inside the mouth. The sores are usually red but can have a white or gray center.
- The sores can be on the tongue, cheeks, or roof of your mouth.
- Occasionally severe canker sores can be paired with a fever.
Causes of Canker Sores
There’s no one definitive thing that causes canker sores. However, there are a few things that may contribute to them. Some common suspected causes include:
- Mouth injury
- Acidic or spicy food
- Ill-fitting dentures or other dental appliances
Treating a Canker Sore
Canker sores will usually go away on their own within a week or two. But not all of us can tolerate the discomfort that long. There are a few things that can help shorten the life of a canker sore and get you some relief. Most commonly, canker sore sufferers use an over-the-counter product that will coat the sore in numbing medication. Other times, your dentist may be able to use a laser to get even faster results. Either way, canker sores are usually nothing to be concerned about as they’re not contagious and will typically resolve without any treatment.
Do You Need to See a Dentist for a Canker Sore?
Since canker sores will heal themselves most of the time, a visit to your dentist in Sacramento is probably not necessary. However, if the sore lasts longer than three weeks, is causing severe pain, or seems to create other sores, it’s best to schedule an appointment. Your dentist will decide if you could benefit from a corticosteroid or prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse to help fight off the canker sore.
If you have concerns about any changes in your mouth, we encourage you to call our Sacramento dental office today. We’re here to help.