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January 2nd, 2020

Canker Sore 101

As you chow down on that delicious slice of your favourite pizza, you notice a slight sensation of pain. Ouch! Every time you take a bit with that spicy tomato sauce you feel like something is not right. There is a problem with your oral cavity. You look at your mouth in the mirror and see a small bump on your tongue. You have a canker sore. Now what?

You can go to your dentist to get it checked out. Though most canker sores will disappear within a few days, you could have a larger issue that requires attention so to be extra sure, have your dentist check it out. Bumps on your tongue can also be a sign of oral cancer so it is important you eliminate this possibility. If it’s a canker sore, your dentist can inform you of the type of canker sore you have and prescribe something if need be.

What kind of canker sore needs a prescription?

A canker sore that is larger than average and causes you a lot of pain that needs to be treated with medication. On their own, it can take more than a month for a canker sore to leave your mouth and can even cause scarring. No one wants to deal with that therefore this is where your dentist comes into play. He/she might suggest a topical paste prescription to ease the pain and help the healing move rapidly. Your dentist might even prescribe you a particular mouthwash with a steroid in it called dexamethasone. This rinse will reduce any swelling that may have occurred as well as lessen any pain you feel.

Do you want to just get rid of your canker sore all together? Your dentist will determine if your circumstance is one worthy of cauterization when the tissue where the sore lives are chemically burned off.

Another type of canker sore that can lead to all kinds of issues is a herpetiform canker sore. This sounds bad. How do you recognize this type of canker sore? Generally, it is an ulcer that forms in clusters. This is the worst type you can get. A herpetiform canker sore can go away in a few weeks if proper treatment is provided.

Canker sores do reoccur but can be avoided if you eat healthily. What does eating healthy entail? Avoiding sugary drinks and foods will help you steer clear of canker sores. Spicy foods can be healthy but are best not eaten when you have a canker sore as they can cause them to become even more irritated.

Get yourself relieved of pain and in to see your dentist for proper assessment and treatment of your canker sore. You can’t always avoid bumps in the road but you can certainly limit them inside your mouth!

Dr. Gurshant

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on January 2nd, 2020

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