What are Canker Sores (Apthous Ulcers)?
Canker Sores, are small, shallow ulcers that can appear in the mouth and make eating and speaking very uncomfortable. They can appear in multiple areas at the same or varying times and they may also range in size.
What causes Canker Sores?
The exact cause of canker sores is unknown; however, they often appear as a result of stress or tissue injury (i.e. from braces, a sharp tooth or dental appliance, ill fitting dentures or even the bristles of a tooth brush). Sometimes certain acidic foods, spices, acidic foods or beverages can trigger a sore or make them worse. In some cases, canker sores are caused by an underlying health condition or compromised immune system. Other factors may include gastrointestinal tract disease and nutritional deficiencies.
What are the symptoms of Canker Sores?
Symptoms of a canker sore may include:
- A tingling or burning sensation prior to the appearance of the sores
- Sores in your mouth that are round, white, or gray in color, with a red edge or border
- A painful sore or sores inside your mouth – on your tongue, on the roof of your mouth, or inside your cheeks
In the case of a severe canker sore attack, you may also experience:
- Physical sluggishness
- Swollen lymph nodes
How are Canker Sores treated?
Any pain from a canker sore will start to go away anywhere from a few to several days, and the sores usually take about a week or two to heal without treatment.
In some cases an antimicrobial mouth rinse may be prescribed, or a prescription or nonprescription solution to reduce the pain and irritation, or a corticosteroid ointment. However, a more immediate and direct way of relieving discomfort and treating the sore is through the use of a dental soft tissue laser. This treatment is inexpensive, incredibly effective, quick, and comfortable. Through biostimulation, using light energy, we can relieve discomfort, by sealing off nerve endings, and promote faster healing. Theses sores can be treated without the use of anesthesia.
Can Canker Sores be prevented?
Although there is no cure for canker sores and they often reoccur, you may be able to reduce their frequency by:
- Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after meals and flossing daily, which will keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a sore.
- Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth – including acidic or spicy foods
- Avoiding irritation from gum chewing
You should call your dentist about canker sores if you have:
- Sores that are spreading
- Sores that last 3 weeks or longer
- A high fever with the appearance of the canker sore(s)
- Unusually large sores
- Difficulty drinking enough fluids
- Intolerable pain despite avoiding trigger foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication
What are the benefits of using a laser in treating Canker Sores?
- Laser energy destroys the virus that causes the sore
- It is high tech, yet affordable, and often covered by your insurance
- Treatment takes just a few minutes and without anesthesia
- Faster healing without any further discomfort through photo-biostimulation
- Relief is immediate and profound
- Arrests the progression of the lesion after treatment
- Help prevent sores if treated once the lip starts tingling
After treatment, sores reoccur with less intensity and frequency at the same location
Ready to get the smile you’ve been dreaming of? Find out how Dr. Galante can help you today! Call our office at (908) 561-3939 or send us an email at [email protected]