Have you noticed some small white bumps on your gums lately? Don’t panic! While only a trained dentist can diagnose them for sure, these bumps are probably just canker sores. Today, we’ll discuss what canker sores are, why you don’t need to worry about them, and how to get them to go away a little faster.
What Are Canker Sores?
Canker sores (or aphthous ulcers) are a common type of mouth sore. They look like small white or yellow lesions with a red border, almost like a pimple in your mouth.
Canker sores can appear on your gums as well as the inside of your lip, your tongue, and even the roof of your mouth. They might appear one at a time or in multiple places at once.
No one knows exactly what causes them, but they’ve been linked to stress, mouth injuries, and consumption of acidic foods. They’re also more common in people with autoimmune diseases and nutritional deficiencies.
Canker sores are not dangerous or contagious. They’re not a sign of oral cancer or any kind of infection. However, they can be painful and difficult to live with, especially if you wear braces or dentures, use a retainer, or wear a night guard to bed.
How to Treat Canker Sores
Most canker sores go away in a week or two even without treatment. If yours are bothering you, though, there are a few things you can do to speed up the healing process.
- Rinse your mouth with antiseptic rinses. Make your own by mixing a teaspoon of salt in half a cup of warm water or mixing one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply topical anesthetic gels like Orajel or Orabase to the affected areas of your mouth to manage your pain.
- Apply corticosteroid ointments to the sores to soothe the inflammation and promote healing.
- If your canker sores are severe or recur often, your dentist might prescribe oral antibiotics to help get them cleared up.
Do not pick at or try to pop your canker sores. This won’t make them go away any faster, but it will definitely hurt and may make the problem worse.
Remember – Professional Diagnosis is Key
If you’ve never had canker sores before, it’s important to rule out any other problems before attempting to treat them. Visit Coscarella Dentistry for a check-up and let us make sure your sores really are nothing to worry about. After we’ve checked them out, we’ll even help you choose the best treatment for your needs. Contact us today to get started!