Canker Sores and How to Treat Them

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Canker sores are those small, shallow lesions that form on the soft tissues inside your mouth. Here are some important facts about canker sores, their causes, and how to treat them:

-Canker sores differ from cold sores, which develop on the surface of your lips. Canker sores only form on the insides of the mouth – whether under your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips, at the base of your gums or on your soft palate.
-Canker sores are not contagious, but they can be irritating and even painful, making eating and talking uncomfortable.
-Minor canker sores are the most common. They are usually small and oval shaped with a red edge and heal in one to two weeks.
-Major canker sores are less common. They’re larger and deeper than minor canker sores, usually round with defined borders, can be very painful, and can take up to six weeks to heal with extensive scarring
-Herpetiform canker sores usually develop in old age, are the size of pinpoints and usually occur in clusters which may merge into one large ulcer. They have irregular edges and heal without scarring in one to two weeks.
-Canker sores can be caused by minor injuries, overactive brushing, certain kinds of toothpaste or mouth rinses, food sensitivities, a lack of certain minerals and vitamins, bacteria, hormonal shifts, stress, or certain types of disease and conditions.
-You’ll know when to see a doctor when your sores are unusually large, reoccurring or frequent, persistent, more painful than you can handle, impair eating or drinking, or if you are experiencing a high fever.

If you have any further questions about your canker sores, please feel free to contact Dr. Bryan and Dr. Davis at Northwest Dental Associates in Medford, Oregon, by calling 541-779-3993.