What's a Canker Sore? | Sun Valley Pediatric Dentistry | Mesa, Avondale, Gilbert, AZ

We all get them – those dreaded canker sores. Despite their smaller size, these little sores pack a powerful punch. How much do we know about these oft-misunderstood nuisances of the mouth and how do we avoid them altogether.
Nearly 20 percent of the world population develops these mouth ulcers and yet little is known about their origins. Canker sores, also known as aphthous stomatitis, remain an otherwise mystifying phenomenon. Experts can not directly explain why they occur but many theories do exist.
Several factors can be linked back to the occurrence of canker sores – often stress, injury and even acidic foods play a hefty role. Sharp objects like braces can even spur canker sores in addition to an already weakened immune system. Other factors include gastrointestinal disease or nutritional problems.
How can you tell you have a canker sore? Symptoms include painful, burning or tingling sensations in your mouth. It’s also hard to miss the appearance of the round sore in your mouth, often appearing white or gray in color with a surrounding redness. More severe canker sores can even involve fever, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.
What’s the best remedy for a canker sore? Sometimes the best solution is to do nothing at all – canker sores will inevitably dissipate on their own. You can feel safe ignoring them and allowing them to run their course provided no major symptoms accompany them. Canker sore pain will typically stretch about 7-10 days and the sore will often completely disappear in three weeks.
If you want to ease the pain of a canker sore, over-the-counter remedies are available. One of the most reliable methods to relieve canker sore pain is to use hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse. This will help keep the ulcer clean and free from irritation.