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All About Canker Sores

If you’ve ever had a canker sore, or a mouth ulcer, you know it can be painful and uncomfortable. Below is some information about what they are exactly and how to treat them.

What Exactly Is a Canker Sore?

A canker sore is a minor abrasion that develops on soft tissue of the mouth, lips or at the base of the gum line. Though they are small, a canker sore in the right spot can make eating and talking painful.

Canker sores fall into three categories: minor, major and herpetiform. Minor canker sores are typically small, oval-shaped and heal in one to two weeks. Major sores tend to be larger and deeper with irregular edges. Their healing process can last up to six weeks and even leave a scar. Herpetiforms develop in the later stages of life, are the size of a pinpoint and often appear in a cluster of 10 to 100. Although they heal in the same time frame as minor canker sores, they also have irregular edges just as major canker sores do.

Treating Canker Sores

If you think you have a canker sore, consult your dentist at Dental365 first. Your dentist will be able to determine if you do and the severity. Remember, minor canker sores typically don't need treatment, as they'll usually dissolve in a couple of weeks. For major or herpetiform canker sores, there are treatment options available:

  • Topical pastes: Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pastes dispel pain while accelerating the healing process if applied early on.
  • Mouth rinses: For multiple canker sores, a mouth rinse containing a steroid known as dexamethasone provides pain relief while reducing swelling. Your dentist will need to prescribe the rinse.
  • Cauterization: This process involves your dentist using an instrument that chemically burns the portion of tissue where the sore resides.

If you or your child has a canker sore, give Dental365 a call at 844-365-DENTAL. One of our compassionate dentists will quickly get you into the office and determine the severity of the canker sore and prescribe treatment if necessary.


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