Learn More From Our Saint Louis Dentist About The Realities of Canker Sores

Written by Dr. Grayem on Apr 12, 2022

A canker sore can be a real pain—both literally and figuratively. While there is no sure-fire way to completely eliminate canker sores from your life, there are things that you can do to facilitate healing and care for your smile while you deal with a canker sore. Keep reading to learn more from our St Louis dentists 

Signs And Symptoms

Canker sores simply look like small bumps or pimples on the soft tissues of your mouth. They are generally yellow or white, and they may be ringed in red, inflamed tissue.

Once canker sores have developed around your tongue, on the insides of your cheeks, or on your soft palate, they may get slightly larger and look more swollen. You might find that they feel tingly, itchy, or warm as well. If a canker sore is damaged or irritated it can break open and weep fluid.

Root Causes

While cold sores are the result of a viral infection, canker sores are simply the result of soft tissue injury. The good news is that this means that canker sores are not contagious. Some people, however, do report higher instances of canker sore development during times of stress or hormone fluctuations. 

Treatment Options

Caring for your smile when you have a canker sore is pretty straightforward: you want to keep your mouth clean, and be exceptionally gentle around irritated oral tissues. Most canker sores will resolve on their own within a week or two.

There are over-the-counter topical treatments that can minimize discomfort and nourish soft tissues. You want to look for a formulation that includes benzocaine, fluocinonide, or hydrogen peroxide.

In rare circumstances a canker sore may require professional treatment and intervention. If you notice that your canker sore is not healing over the course of several weeks, please reach out to your dentist for additional help. Some patients benefit from steroids, which can speed up the healing process.

We hope that you have found this information about dealing with canker sores helpful and useful. Please know that our St Louis dentists are always here to answer any additional questions you may have, and to provide prompt preventive and restorative care. We look forward to speaking with you!