We are open for elective procedures effective May 12, 2020. Please call us at (301) 870-8100 or you can Request an Appointment by clicking here
Request an Appointment
Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores

Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores

Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores

Canker sores are quite literally a sensitive issue, but someone has to talk about it! What are canker sores (or "stomatitis"), why do they appear, and what can be done about them? Anyone who's ever had mouth sores can attest to the fact that they are just as embarrassing as they are painful, but simply suffering through them does you no good. Get the facts on this common problem to take control of the situation before another outbreak.

How to Tell If It's a Canker Sore

Because they are similar in name and can appear within fairly close proximity of each other, canker sores are often confused with cold sores. An easy way to tell the difference right off the bat is by checking to see if it's on the inside or outside of your mouth. Cold sores, which are viral and highly contagious in nature, will appear outside of the mouth, on or close to the lip area. Canker sores, on the other hand, are not contagious and emerge along the insides of your cheeks, gums and the roof of your mouth. If you spot an inflammation with a white center and red border inside your mouth, and it causes sensitivity or soreness when talking or eating, it's most likely a canker sore.

What Causes Canker Sores

Considering that stomatitis is often chronic, those who experience canker sores due to an injury, or eating something overly acidic, might actually consider themselves lucky. Otherwise, recurring flare-ups can be expected, especially if your case is connected to underlying conditions such as:

  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • HIV & Other Blood Disorders
  • Food Allergies
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Lupus
  • Genetics
  • Immune Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Chemotherapy
  • It is also worth noting that canker sores tend to be more common in teens, young adults and women.

    Ways to Ease the Pain

    On average, canker sores usually last between 7 and 10 days. While there is no way to rid yourself of a canker sore once it emerges, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the discomfort until it heals, such as:

    • Try an over-the-counter gel or painkiller for immediate relief
    • Steer clear of spicy, acidic and/or hot foods to avoid aggravating open sores
    • Rinse with water or mouthwash regularly to keep the sores free of food particles
    • Brush and floss with extra care to prevent unnecessary contact and/or added trauma

    Understanding what caused the outbreak can also help you take preventative measures to minimize the chance of future flare-ups. If sores are food or allergy related, for example, simply steering clear of triggers can keep stomatitis at bay.

    When Professional Care is Necessary

    If painful sores persist past the ten-day period, are over a half-inch wide, and/or are accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, joint pain, rashes or fever, see a dentist as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your situation, he or she may prescribe medication, surgery, or recommend diagnostic tests. Even if your symptoms are mild, a dental exam can help rule out serious health concerns that could be causing the problem, and give you peace of mind.

    Patient Reviews

    • Dr. Rehder and the entire staff are friendly and compassionate. They accommodate my needs as a patient and treat me as a personal friend. Professionally, they provide the utmost care and advice, the patient always comes first. I can’t say enough positive comments about this practice.

      ~Review by Eileen S.

    • Dr. Rehder is very professional, yet not too serious as he is doing your teeth. He makes it relaxing and is able to keep your mind away from his work (I have never liked going to the dentist, but Dr. Rehder makes the experience as close to pleasant as a dentist visit can be).

      ~Review by Mary Ellen M.

    • Thank you Dr. Rehder and Christine for the "always exciting" and "never a dull moment" orthodontist appointment. See you in two weeks to do it all over again. Ok maybe-not ALL over again.

      ~Review by Elena C.

    • I had a great experience with Dr. Rehder. He is very informative and professional. All of the staff were so nice and helpful. My overall experience was one of the best I had with a dental office. I would definitely recommend people to come here.

      ~Review by Paulina C.

    • Professional staff. Makes you feel at ease, would highly recommend.

      ~Review by Diane S.

    • Always wonderful visits at Pinefield Dental. I've been a patient since the very early 90s. The staff is my extended family & takes care of my teeth with the utmost professionalism. This is my dental home

      ~Review by Kenneth C.

    • The doctor and staff were wonderful. My experience is always great. The staff is very caring and always professional. The hours are very convenient as well. They will be able to accommodate anyone's schedule.

      ~Review by Amanda C.

    • Richard F. Gittleson, DDS Reviews No one likes/enjoys going to the dentist, but our dentist (Dr. Gittleson) and his staff are so pleasant they help relieve a patient fears.

      ~Review by Patricia L.

    • Highly recommended, I’ve been a patient since 1983.

      ~Review by Charles G.

    • Excellent.

      ~Review by Dom J.

    Shape