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The mouth can be confusing, especially if you don’t know much about your teeth and soft tissues. Don’t fret! This is the case for lots of people. Some things, scientists are even a little unsure about. One mystery of the mouth is the origin of canker sores. These are shallow, small ulcers that can occasionally make eating and talking difficult.

Contrary to popular belief, canker sores are not actually contagious. They tend to run in families, and scientists are not sure of what causes them. You do not need to see a doctor about canker sores unless this is the first time you’ve had them, or if it is larger than 1 cm (a little less than ½ inch). Some experts believe bacteria or viruses to be involved. Occasionally, an injury to the soft tissues of the mouth can also cause a canker sore.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for canker sores. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the symptoms while you wait. Over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes may help, as could an over-the-counter anesthetic to relieve pain. Avoid any spicy or acidic foods that could irritate the sores! Rinse with warm water to help ease pain and keep your mouth clean. Luckily, the pain should fade in a few days and the sore should heal on its own within the week (sometimes this takes up to 2 weeks). Antibiotics from your dentist may help control secondary infection.

To learn more about canker sores or about other abnormalities of the mouth, we invite you to call Vital Dental at (972) 347-0945. Dr. Asad Ahsan and our dental team are here to help you in any way we can. We are excited to give you the information you’re looking for! If you suspect a problem and are in the McKinney, Texas area, be sure to call us for an appointment as soon as possible.