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Your daily smile goals should include freedom from tooth decay and gum disease and taking proper care of your teeth and gums to prevent those from developing. Still, oral issues may arise, including canker sores. These sores can show up in the mouth as tiny, shallow, ulcers which make eating and speaking challenging if they are painful. Today, our dentists in Park Ridge, Illinois, are going to review some information about canker sores and how they can affect your smile. Let’s take a look!

So basically there are two kinds of canker sores. The first is known as a “simple” canker sore. This type can show up four times in a year, and last for up to a week at a time. Younger people ages 10 – 20 are most likely to develop this type. The second type of canker sore is known as a “complex” canker sore. This kind is actually less common than the simple ones and mostly show up in people who have experienced them before.

By now you may be wondering what exactly causes these oral ulcers to arise. Well, the most prevalent cause is stress and injury to the oral tissues. Another common cause is acid, including eating too many acidic fruits and vegetables, such as pineapples and oranges. The third cause of canker sores is issues with oral appliances. This can be from braces rubbing soft oral tissue, wearing loose dentures, or a retainer which might be malfunctioning and poking the mouth.

Thankfully, canker sores usually heal on their own within a week. But if they interfere with your day-to-day function, your dentist can remove them with a dental laser treatment. You can also apply an over-the-counter topical paste to numb the area or rinse with dexamethasone to help with pain and swelling and allowing you to get on with your daily routine without excess pain.

If you want to know more about canker sores or about other issues of the mouth, please call our office at (847) 692.6800 today. Dr. Matthew Demas, Dr. Lindsay Diaz, and Dr. Bryce Larson are here to help you with all of your oral care needs!