Canker sores can be a real pain. According to WebMD, canker sores are:
- Simple canker sores. These may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. They typically occur in people between 10 and 20 years of age.
- Complex canker sores. These are less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them
If you’ve ever suffered from canker sores, you know they can be severely debilitating and make it difficult to eat and even talk. The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, but things like stress and injury (such as a sharp potato chip cutting your gums) could be causes of simple canker sores. Some foods that are acidic, like tomatoes or citrus, or spicy can also cause canker sores in some people.
So if you suffer from canker sores, even just the occasional sore, what can you do? Here are a few options that we have found that work well for some people:
- Start using a toothpaste without the ingredient SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). SLS is an ingredient commonly found in toothpastes (and other household products ) that help produce the foam that you can get while brushing your teeth. While the foam may help you feel like you’re getting cleaner teeth, it’s not the foam that cleans your teeth, so don’t feel bad cutting it out! SLS is found in approximately 99% of the toothpastes and mouth rinses on the market, so make sure to check the ingredients if you’re looking to eliminate it from your toothpaste. Some toothpastes that do not have this ingredient are:
- Avoid eating spicy or acidic foods and drinks.
- If you do get a canker sore, you can use some over the counter topical pain relief gel such as Oragel and/or Dr Stepka can prescribe a product called Debacterol that can treat the ulcer and provide immediate pain relief.
Canker sores don’t usually require treatment and will go away on their own after a week or two. However, you should make an appointment with your dentist if your canker sores persist for longer than two weeks, is unusually large (more than 1 cm), or the pain is unbearable
Please contact your dentist or make an appointment with us at 401-766-9857 if you have any questions or concerns.