January 4, 2018

Canker sore on the lower lip

Do you suffer from canker sores? If so, you know how uncomfortable and irritating they can be. It’s amazing that something so small can be such a big pain! They’re particularly hard to live with if you have a taste for acidic or spicy foods, like orange juice or curries. Unfortunately, those things are off the menu while you’re waiting for your canker sore to heal. Thankfully there are several things you can do to speed up the recovery time and also prevent these pesky little buggers from occurring in the first place. Keep reading as a dentist in Framingham talks more about this common problem.

What Causes Canker Sores and Can They Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, some people are simply more prone to getting canker sores than others, and no one knows exactly why.

Having said that, there are some known risk factors:

  • Allergies to foods or oral care products
  • Stress
  • Viral infections or a weak immune system
  • Vitamin deficiency

Talking with your doctor or dentist is a great place to start, as they can help you rule out any potential allergies in your diet or to the products you use at home.

Also, according to The American Academy of Oral Medicine, keeping track of when you get canker sores can really help you determine if any particular foods or activities are triggers for you.

Next, managing your stress levels and taking a good quality multi-vitamin with a meal each day may prevent canker sores from developing. Keep in mind that you may only be able to reduce outbreaks, if not eradicate them entirely!

What Can You Do To Heal Canker Sores Faster?

If you’re currently dealing with an outbreak, here are some great ideas from a Framingham dentist to help relieve the pain and promote healing:

  • Continue to brush and floss regularly to keep the mouth clean and prevent plaque and bacteria from infecting the area. Use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Swish 2-3 times a day with either a medicated or antiseptic mouthwash, or salt water (about a ¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of water).
  • Use an over-the-counter patch or gel to protect the area from further irritation.
  • Consider a natural option such as aloe vera gel. A clove oil solution can also be applied with a cotton swab to numb the pain. Another choice is cooled honey and chamomile tea, which can potentially reduce inflammation and soothe the tissues.
  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods that can re-irritate the area and delay healing. Also be cautious with anything crunchy, such as chips or crackers.
  • Finally, there has been some evidence that a B-12 supplement may reduce the occurrence and symptoms of canker sores. Talk to your doctor first.

With these guidelines, you can potentially keep canker sores at bay and also learn to treat them more effectively when they do occur.

About the Author

Dr. Marianna Gaitsgory and Dr. Jean-Marie Biebuyk are committed to providing the best in dental care to all of their patients. They put particular importance on educating their patients about taking care of every aspect of their oral health, including the treatment of canker sores. They can be reached for questions via their website, or at (508) 875-0900.

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