Dental Tips Blog


Canker Sores – Why They Happen and How to Treat Them

Posted in Laser Dentistry

You usually don’t notice it until you take a refreshing swig of icy lemonade. Or it may be right as you chomp into Nana’s famous spaghetti and meatballs. Whatever the occasion, the pain is recognizable beyond a doubt: the acid zing of an angry canker sore.

Why oh why do these small little lesions cause so much pain?

Causes of Canker Sores

When it comes down to it, no one really knows exactly what causes these sores. People may experience them for different reasons such as:

  • Exposure to spicy or acidic foods
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Injury
  • Irritation from a sharp dental appliance
  • Underlying medical conditions

When to Seek Help for a Canker Sore

Recognizable as a crater-like ulcer with a pale center and red border, a canker sore usually resolves on its own within a week.

You can often dull the pain and speed up recovery by:

  • Avoiding spicy and acidic foods
  • Taking a pain killer
  • Rinsing your mouth with water after eating
  • Applying a topical benzocaine gel like Orajel
  • Cutting out toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (some people are allergic)

But what if your sore gets bigger or more show up?

If your sore starts to spread, it’s time to see your dentist. Some canker sores, while not serious, can be extremely painful and make it impossible to eat or talk normally. Your dentist may be able to treat the spot with laser therapy.

You should especially plan a visit to your doctor if a sore is accompanied by a fever or results in dehydration. It could indicate that you have something more serious going on.

Contact your general dentist for more tips on getting relief from these painful ulcers.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


Why am I Getting Canker Sores?

Canker sores are no fun! They can be quite painful and they come in all shapes and sizes. They are considered a small ulcer in your mouth that hurt when eating, drinking, or even talking.

Are you aware that one in five people will have a canker sore flare up? It’s true – 20 percent of the population suffers with canker sores. So if you are one of them you are not alone! Most people wonder, “Why do I get canker sores?” And to be quite honest, most doctors are not sure exactly why.

What dentists will tell you is that they know of triggers for canker sores. Some of the most common triggers include, but are not limited to:

  • Stress – high stress environments, situations, etc.
  • An injury – either from accidently biting, braces or being hit
  • Eating acidic foods or drinks – oranges, coffee, tomato, etc.
  • A weakened immune system – either because you are sick or you have poor nutrition habits
  • Gastrointestinal diseases – heartburn, acid reflux, etc.

What can you do? Well, here’s the best news – most canker sores will heal themselves in 7-10 days. If your canker sore has not healed or it is causing you a lot of pain, then schedule an appointment to see your Alpharetta dentist. There isn’t a cure for canker sores but you can reduce their occurrence. You can do that by always brushing, flossing, and having good nutrition. Also, make sure you keep routine dental appointments; your dentist can always keep an eye out for problem areas!

Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental



Common Causes of Canker Sores

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Ulcers and canker sores are usually very uncomfortable, and can take several days for them to heal themselves. Although some people only get them from time to time, other people get them on a more regular basis. It’s important to understand risk factors and causes that may result in a higher rate of canker sores for some people.

Increased sun exposure, stressful conditions, or recent illness can weaken the immune system and cause people to be more susceptible to developing ulcers, cold sores, and canker sores. Obviously stress isn’t always avoidable, but if it’s a chronic problem then some lifestyle changes may be needed.

Foods that are acidic, such as tomatoes make some people’s oral tissues irritated and develop sores. If you currently deal with heartburn, you may need to be seeing a doctor to alleviate the additional acid that is making its way up to your mouth.

Braces and orthodontic appliances are often known for causing irritation from rubbing the inside of the lips and cheeks. Using orthodontic wax or having minor adjustments made can protect the tissues that repeatedly become irritated in specific areas.

Believe it or not, many dentists are now providing a fast, effective laser dentistry treatment for tissue irritations like ulcers, canker sores, and cold sores with soft tissue laser therapy. These lasers halt the ulcer formation instantly, and in just a few seconds result in alleviated pain. The sore then heals extremely quickly, and the patient’s discomfort is completely reversed. The treatment just takes a few seconds, and can be integrated into any visit that is already scheduled at the office. Or, just feel free to call your dentist to see if you can be worked in for a quick 5-minute visit!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care



What is a Canker Sore?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

There are many different types of mouth sores, and many of us have had a mouth sore at one point in our life.  This article will talk about canker sores, and common ways to treat a canker sore.

A canker sore is a small ulcer in your mouth.  Canker sores almost always have white or pearl colored center, and are red around the edges.  Canker sores appear inside the mouth, and are almost always found on the inside of the lips and on the linings of the cheek.  Occasionally, you may get a canker sore on your tongue.

Canker sores are not contagious, but you may find that you are susceptible to canker sores. This means you end up with canker sores over and over again.  This happens frequently during times of stress or illness.  Canker sores can appear alone, or there may be several sores in your mouth at once.

Canker sores can be incredibly painful.  If you have a canker sore, over the counter anesthetics may be used.  These topical anesthetics should be applied directly to the sore and surrounding area.  Follow the package directions carefully.  During the time that you have the canker sore, try to avoid foods that may irritate the sore.  Foods that commonly cause irritation include foods that are extremely hot or spicy, and foods that are very acidic (like fruit juices or tomato sauces).  Some people state that eating cool or cold foods helps decrease the pain.

It is possible to develop a secondary infection from the canker sore.  If you find that your sores are not healing, see your dentist.  Antibiotics may be prescribed to help any infections that may have developed.  Canker sores can also be treated with laser therapy.  If you find that your canker sores are interfering with your ability to eat or swallow, you should see your dentist or health care provider as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of Prime Dental Care



Dealing With Mouth Sores

Posted in Oral Cancer

If you have a sore in your mouth you are probably wondering what it is, when it will go away, and what to do about it.  This article will discuss some common strategies for dealing with mouth sores, and offer advice as to when you should see a dentist about any sore or lesion in your mouth.

There are several different types of mouth sores, but they are almost all from three major issues.  The most common reason we get sores in our mouth include infections of any sort.  Other issues include irritation to the lining of the cheek, gum line or tongue.  Finally, mouth sores may be an indicator of another disease and can be a warning sign of oral cancer.

If you have a small mouth sore, you may find rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water helps with the discomfort.  Maintaining your regular oral care is especially important during this time.  Continuing to brush twice daily, flossing daily and eating a well-balanced diet are incredibly important during this time.

If you have several sores, and find you are unable to eat or swallow, you should be evaluated immediately by your dentist.  Sores that make it difficult to swallow may eventually compromise your ability to breathe well and you want to have this taken care of right away.

If the sore in your mouth has been there longer than a week, you should have it evaluated by your dentist.  Your dentist will be able to accurately diagnose the reason for the sores, and also be able to provide treatment that will help the sores heal promptly.


Laser Treatment for Canker Sores

Posted in Laser Dentistry

If you have ever had canker sores, then you know how painful they can be. Canker sores are an indication of injury or irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth; they may also be caused by a viral infection. These ulcerations or open sores form on the tongue, lips, and on the inside of the mouth, and appear light colored (gray or white) with redness around the edge of the sore. The tingling, burning and pain of canker sores can cause significant distress, making it difficult to eat, talk and concentrate.

Once upon a time, the recommended approach to dealing with canker sores was to just wait for the sores to disappear on their own. Indeed, it is quite common for people get canker sores that go away after a week or two with little or no treatment. Alternatively, because there is no permanent cure for canker sores, home remedies like rinsing with warm salt water and over-the-counter topical agents like Debacterol have been the conventional methods of handling canker sore outbreaks.

Recently however, advances in laser dentistry have facilitated more effective treatment of canker sores. Basically, a dental laser is beamed over the sores for a few minutes and the photon energy causes photo-biostimulation to occur within the mucous membrane. This has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and disinfecting effects. The patient will feel a warm sensation, but there is no pain involved and no anesthesia is required.

Laser treatment has several remedial effects on canker sores. Laser treatment stops the progression of sores so that they take a significantly shorter time to heal. It also results in rapid and sometimes immediate pain relief. Additionally, laser treatment can be preventative. Before a canker sore breakout, the lips will invariably start to tingle. Receiving laser treatment at this early stage will usually nip the breakout in the bud. Laser treatment is especially recommended for people with a history of acute and frequently recurring canker sores since it reduces the severity of the canker sore life cycle.

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