Preventing Mouth Ulcers and Canker Sores

Do you ever get mouth ulcers or canker sores?  They are quite literally a pain!  These painful oral lesions often form in your cheeks or in the soft tissue of your mouth and can last at least a week and oftentimes longer. They can make it hard to eat due to sensitivity and many people even report it hurting when they move their mouth to eat, talk, or smile.

Add in that they can develop on the edges of your lips as unsightly sores so no one ever wants to have to put up with them. If you have ever had to suffer with mouth ulcers you have probably questioned whether there was any way to get some relief or prevent them from occurring. Chattanooga Dental Studio has some insights into painful mouth ulcers and canker sores.

What causes mouth ulcers?

The causes of mouth ulcers can be different with every patient, but most people have a few common factors that contribute to developing the painful sores around and in their mouth:

  • Anxiety or stress
  • Genetics
  • Certain Medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits
  • Orthodontic appliances (Braces)
  • Poorly fitting dentures.
  • Sometimes an outbreak is caused by a combination of these factors.

What Treatment Options are there for Mouth Ulcers?

Canker sores are often painful for the first few days with pain lessening as the lesion heals. Some patients may not require any treatment, but for those prone to developing mouth ulcers often or who have to live with them longer than a few days, your dentist may choose to prescribe something to help heal the condition. In addition, a dental laser can remove the lesion and sterilize the tissue area which makes the healing process occur much faster.

Could my mouth ulcer be cancer?

Most mouth ulcers are not harmful, but they are painful.  However, many people may mistake them for oral cancer.  If you are wondering if an oral lesion could be cancerous or if you notice a suspicious lesion in or around your mouth that is not going away, you should have your dentist take a look.  

Here are some things to be aware of when you're wondering if it may be oral cancer:

Oral cancer typically manifests as discoloration of the lesion itself, such as red or white patches.

Oral cancer lesions also are not typically painful while mouth ulcers can cause tingling, burning, and pain.

Mouth ulcers heal within 7-10 days while oral cancer lesions don’t go away.

Your dentist will screen you for oral cancer at every six month checkup.

If it’s time for your next dental exam and cleaning or you have questions about mouth ulcers, give Chattanooga Dental Studio a call today at 423-899-9530 or request an appointment online. We can't wait to see you!

-Dr. C

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