Canker sores are a common problem that tend to come with a lot of questions. What causes them? Are they contagious? Can you cure them? Can you avoid them? Is a canker sore and cold sore the same thing? At our Potomac Falls dental office, we understand canker sores can be confusing, and uncomfortable, so we’d like to give you some answers to commonly asked questions.
What Exactly is a Canker Sore?
A canker sore is ulcer-like lesion that appears on the soft tissues of the mouth. And if you get one, you’ll know. Canker sores look like small, red, painful, raised circles. They may even have a white or gray middle. Canker sores affect the inside of the mouth and aren’t contagious. If you notice something similar on the lip or outside of the mouth, you probably have a cold sore, which is contagious, so get it looked at as soon as possible.
What Causes Canker Sores?
We wish we had a better answer to this, but we’ll fill you in on what we know. Canker sores have no absolute cause. However, there are some things that have a correlation with developing a canker sore.
- High Stress or Lack of Rest
- Acidic or Spicy Foods
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Sometimes you may be able to determine what causes a canker sore to pop up. Other times, they appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you can identify what caused a canker sore to pop up, try your best to avoid it.
How do You Treat a Canker Sore?
Again, we wish we had better news for you. Unfortunately there is no cure for canker sores. You basically need to let them run their course, which is typically about a week or two. While you can’t make one go away, you can ease the discomfort and pain with an over-the-counter product designed to numb the area.
What if a Canker Sore Doesn’t Go Away?
Normally a canker sore will heal itself, but sometimes it needs help. If you notice any of the following symptoms, call your dentist in Potomac Falls.
- It’s still there after three weeks
- It spread or multiplied
- It comes paired with a fever or severe pain
At our Potomac Falls dental office, we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions about canker sores or any other oral health concern you have. Give us a call today!
Now accepting patients from Potomac Falls and Herndon.