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Are you having issues with tiny, shallow, ulcers, in the mouth? These raised white circles that are often painful, are known as canker sores, and they can make eating and talking difficult, as you may have already discovered. Today, our dentist in Cary, North Carolina, would like to share some information with you regarding canker sores and why they might be showing up in your smile.

There are two kinds of canker sores, simple ones, and complex ones. Simple canker sores can crop up several times a year and last about a week. Complex canker sores are often larger than their simple counterparts, although they do look alike. The difference is these are extremely painful, can take over a month to dissipate, and may leave a scar behind.

So why do these lesions appear? Most often the cause is stress or oral injury to the soft tissues. Often eating acidic foods–like citrus or pineapples–for example, can bring on canker sores. Another cause is irritation from oral appliances. These might arise from braces that are rubbing the tissues, loose dentures, or a malfunctioning retainer poking the oral tissues.

Canker sores most often heal on their own within about a week. If they prove bothersome, you may find relief with an over-the-counter topical paste to numb the area. If you have pain and swelling, you can rinse with dexamethasone. Another option is having your dentist remove them with a dental laser treatment.

If you would like to know more about canker sores or about other issues of the mouth, please call our office at 919-371-2515 today. Dr. Siti Lowery and our team are always happy to help you with your oral care needs!