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Coping with Canker Sores: Why You Get Them and How to Deal

Dentist Oak Park

If you’re one of the many people who gets canker sores, then you know how painful and irritating they can be. To help make the healing process easier, here are a few things you should know.

1. Canker sores are fairly common.

Canker sores are more common than you think! In fact, 1 in every 5 people get these ulcerated lesions or sores in their mouth, according to the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. So while they may be painful, they’re certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

2. There are a number of possible causes for canker sores.

Canker sores can be brought on for any number of reasons, including injuries, hormonal changes, or a depletion of your immune system. Canker sores can also result from food sensitivities (such as irritation from highly acidic or spicy foods) or even a lack of vitamins and minerals.

3. There are three kinds of canker sores.

The three kinds of canker sores—minor, major, and herpetiform—can be found most often on the inner cheeks, lips, tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth. The most common type, the minor form, is small and round (or oval). They’ll usually have a red border with a white or yellow center. On the other hand, major canker sores are larger and deeper with irregular edges—these are less common than the minor form. The last type is herpetiform, which are very small but come in clusters of up to 100.

4. The length of the healing process can vary depending on the case.

You’ll likely experience the most pain during the first few days of the canker sore’s onset, but the pain will gradually fade during the healing process. Minor and herpetiform canker sores typically disappear after about two weeks while, unfortunately, major canker sores can last several weeks or even several months!

5. They are not contagious.

The common misconception is that canker sores are caused by the herpes virus. This is not the case. As mentioned above, there are several possible causes for canker sores to appear, but you don’t need to worry about them spreading to other people.

6. There are a few things you can do to alleviate pain from canker sores.

While painful, you need to make sure you maintain your dental hygiene routine while you have canker sores. This will help to keep the site clean and free of irritation. You should also avoid any foods that can harm the site, like spicy or acidic foods, as well as alcoholic beverages.

7. If your symptoms have lasted longer than two weeks, you should visit your dentist.

Unfortunately, some more serious conditions can look like canker sores. Therefore, if you have large recurring sores, sores that last longer than two weeks, or multiple sores that crop up before the old ones can heal, be sure to call your dentist straight away.

Do you need to speak with a dentist about your canker sore? Call Oak Park Dental Group in Chicago today to set up your appointment!

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