Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are painful lesions that typically form in your cheeks or soft tissues. They can make eating difficult for at least a week, sometimes longer, and if you suffer from them, you're probably wondering if there's any relief? Your Glenview dentist has some insights.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
The causes of mouth ulcers vary with every patient; however, a few common factors include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Pregnancy or other hormonal changes
- Certain medications
- Citrus fruits or other highly acidic foods
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Braces or other orthodontic appliances
Sometimes it's a combination of these factors that can cause an outbreak.
How Are Mouth Ulcers Treated?
Most canker sores are painful over the first few days, and as the pain lessens and the lesion heals, you may not require any treatment. For patients who are prone to developing mouth ulcers or who live with them longer than a few days, your dentist may prescribe something to help your condition. A dental laser can also be used to remove the lesion and sterilize the area, which accelerates the healing process.
Are Mouth Ulcers Cancerous?
Most mouth ulcers are harmless, just painful. They can, however, be mistaken for oral cancer and vice versa. Here's what you should be aware of with oral cancer:
- There is typically discoloration of the lesions, such as white or red patches.
- Oral cancer lesions typically are not painful while mouth ulcers are.
- Mouth ulcers heal in a few days to a week, but oral cancer lesions don't go away.
If you notice a suspicious lesion that is not going away, it's a good idea to have your dentist take a look. You dentist will also screen you for oral cancer at every six month checkup
If it's time for your next checkup or you have questions about canker sores, give your team at Gallery Park Dental a call today.