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Are you familiar with tiny, shallow, ulcers, in the mouth, called canker sores, which can make eating and speaking challenging? If you have ever experienced them, then you know that they aren’t much fun. Today, our dentist in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, would like to review some information about canker sores and how they can affect your smile.

First, there are two types of canker sores. One is a “simple” canker sore, which can show up four times in a year while staying for up to a week at a time. These canker sores typically show up in people ages 10 – 20. The second type of canker sore is called a “complex” canker sore, which is actually less common than the simple one. These mainly show up in people who have experienced them before.

The most common cause of canker sores is stress and oral injury to the tissues. Eating acidic foods–like citrus or pineapples–can also impact the oral tissues. Irritation from oral appliances is another factor creating canker sores. For example, when braces, loose dentures, or a malfunctioning retainer rub and irritate the oral tissues, canker sores can be the outcome.

The good news is, canker sores usually heal on their own within about a week. If they bother you, you can use an over-the-counter topical paste to numb the area, and 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 want to know more about canker sores or about other issues of the mouth, please call our office at 717-274-5613 today. Dr. Jing Yang and our team are happy to help you with your oral care needs!