Canker Sores

Canker sores, also called apthus ulcers, are one of the most common oral conditions.  They are small, round, painful, yellowish sores that often first appear in adolescence.  They affect the soft tissue in your mouth, such as the tongue, soft palate, cheeks, and lips.

 

What Causes Canker Sores?

We aren’t entirely sure, but they are thought to result from an immune system malfunction that causes white blood cells to attack the cells lining the mouth. Sometimes they result from an allergic reaction to food or certain ingredients in toothpastes or mouthwash. They may also be associated with systemic conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

 

How Can You Get Rid of Them?

There is not a cure, but there are plenty of products to help decrease the pain associated with them.  Your dentist can prescribe the right medication for you.

If you suffer from frequent canker sores, the best thing to do is to keep a diary of when you have outbreaks.  It may help find a connection between your diet, toothpaste or lifestyle changes (stress, etc.).  It is also important to avoid toothpaste that have SLS (sodium laurel sulfate), which can be a trigger for many oral conditions, including canker sores.

Are they Contagious?

No, it is not like herpes.  You cannot catch it from someone else or give it to another person, even with open sores.

 

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