Canker Sores and Braces

Canker sores, also known as “aphthous ulcers” are pale lesions surrounded by a red outer ring, and can show up as a single sore or a cluster on the inside of the mouth (lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and palate). You may start to feel them even before they show up, as they may tingle or burn 2-3 days before you see them. These sores are small, but they can hurt when you eat or drink.

Canker sores can be triggered by a variety of things, including dental appliances such as braces. While braces can trigger and outbreak of canker sores, the exact cause for an onset of canker sores is actually unclear.

Canker Sore Triggers:

–Minor injury to your mouth during dental work, or injury from your braces.
–Brushing too hard.
–Biting the cheek.
–A vitamin or mineral deficiency (folate, iron, vitamin B-12, zinc).
–A compromised immune system (cold or flu, HIV/AIDS).
–Using toothpaste or mouthwashes with sodium lauryl sulfate.
–Food sensitivities (eggs, nuts, cheese, chocolate, coffee, strawberries, spicy or acidic foods).
–Emotional stress and hormonal changes.
–Allergic reaction to certain bacteria in the mouth.

Once they form, canker sores cause discomfort for 3-10 days, but normally go away on their own after a couple of weeks. While there isn’t anything specific you can do to prevent canker sores, you can find relief for their symptoms while they are in your mouth.

Canker Sore Relief:

–Avoid spicy or acidic foods and drinks; stick with plain, bland foods.
–Rinse with warm water or salt water.
–Use over-the-counter creams or ointments to soothe the sores.
–Large sores can be treated with steroid creams prescribed by your doctor.
–For severe symptoms, use a prescribed mouth rinse with steroid dexamethasone.

While canker sores are uncomfortable and irritating, there is help to make them tolerable. Please give us a call if you need help treating any oral lesions at (810) 671-5616 today!

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