Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, are small lesions in the mouth and around the gum tissue that can cause pain when talking, smiling, eating, or drinking. Canker sores are not the same as cold sores which are caused by the herpes simplex virus, canker sores do not occur on the outside surface of your lips and they are not contagious.
Canker sores and mouth ulcers typically last for 7 to 14 days and can happen to most anyone.
What Causes Canker Sores?
It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of canker sores but is thought to be a combination of factors including:
- Acidic foods
- Trauma to the tissues of the mouth from biting, overzealous brushing, dental work, or eating
- Allergies to ingredients in foods or drinks
- Toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate
Having canker sores that constantly develop or persist for long periods of time may indicate other underlying health issues like:
Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other Gastrointestinal disorders
Impaired immune system
A Diet lacking in vitamins B12, folic acid, iron, or zinc
How Can Canker Sores Be Treated?
While most canker sores will clear up on their own in 7 to 10 days, they can be very annoying and painful. Most people will look for something to help shorten the duration or pain associated with them. Your dentist could prescribe a mouth rinse with a steroid component to help reduce the duration and frequency of the sores. There are also several topical ointments that can be applied to the sores directly to reduce the pain with varying degrees of success. We have had many patients tell us that the over the counter options they tried only worked for a few minutes or not at all.
Dental Lasers Can Treat Canker Sores Instantly
We are so proud of having a dental laser at Chattanooga Dental Studio that can treat canker sores and provide instant relief from the pain and sensitivity. Our dentists use a soft tissue diode laser to treat canker sores. Many studies have shown that treating canker sores with a laser will result in much faster healing time and drastic reduction in pain. The soft tissue diode laser we use works by modifying the nerve conduction in the lesions; it vaporizes the tissue around the sore and sterilizes the area. The laser also stimulates cell turnover to speed the wound healing time and decrease the time the sore lasts. Treating your sore when it first begins or in the first few days delivers the quickest healing times and fastest results. If you have suffered with annoying and painful canker sores, please call our office at 423-899-9530 to see if we can provide you instant relief and a faster healing period. We can’t wait to see you and make you feel better!