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Understanding Canker Sores

canker soreThere tends to be some confusion behind these uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing sores that seem to appear out of nowhere. While there really isn’t any solid evidence as to what causes canker sores, which is part of what makes them a bit difficult to understand, at my McMinnville dental office, we can shed some light on what they are and how to get relief.

What are Canker Sores?

Before we can dive into the causes, symptoms, treatments, and other great information about them, we need to identify what canker sores actually are. Canker sores are small, (usually) little ulcer-like lesions that typically pop up inside the mouth. If the affected area is outside on the lip, it’s probably not a canker sore but a cold sore. Cold sores and canker sores may appear similar in appearance and feel the same discomfort, but they are, in fact, different. Canker sores aren’t contagious. Cold sores are.

How Do You Know if You Have a Canker Sore?

Canker sores tend to have the same symptoms every time one appears. Sometimes you may experience an unexplained tingly or itchy feeling in your mouth. This can be a sign a canker sore is about to pop up. Once it appears, you’ll be able to see a small, oval sore with a white or yellow center and red border inside the mouth, usually around the spot that was itchy.

Canker Sore Relief

There is no cure for canker sores and they’ll go away on their own usually within a week or two. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel the discomfort for that long. There are over-the-counter products designed to ease the pain. If it’s a larger sore or you have concerns, you may want to see a dentist in McMinnville.

When Should You See a Dentist for a Canker Sore?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s appropriate to call your dentist for an appointment.

  • Sores that last longer than two weeks
  • Pain that can’t be handled with over-the-counter treatment
  • High fever
  • Chronic outbreaks

If you think you should see a dentist for your canker sore, or have questions about canker sores, give my McMinnville dental office a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Accepting new patients from McMinnville, Dayton, and Amity.

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