Canker Sores

What Are Canker Sores

Can you believe that 1 in 5 people regularly develop canker sores?! Ouch. Canker sores are white, yellow, or grey irritations found around the tongue and inside of the cheeks. Not to be confused with cold sores, these red-rimmed craters are commonly found in children over 10 years old and primarily in women. Moms listen up!

Canker sores are not contagious and even though they are rarely found in your baby’s or toddler’s mouth, they can cause a great deal of discomfort. If your child is in pain while eating or drinking, they may have a canker sore lurking in their mouth. These sores can occur in any mouth, but you can find some fast solutions here!

Why Do Canker Sores Happen?

Canker sores have a tendency of running in families, so some people are just more prone to developing them. Otherwise, we don’t have an exact answer for why canker sores come around, but we do know a few things that may help their arrival.

  • Emotional stress
  • Irritation from sour or spicy foods
  • Injury to mouth’s lining
    • Brushing
    • Biting
    • Hot liquids
    • Rough foods (e.g. chips)
    • Braces or other dental appliances
  • Food allergies
  • Certain vitamin deficiencies

Getting Rid Of Canker Sores

Even though canker sores are not usually dangerous, they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. Many times, they last under two weeks and can go away on their own, but why not help prevent discomfort from the start? Here are some great places to begin:

  • Over the counter pain relief (e.g. ibuprofen or acetaminophen) may be all that you or your child needs to ease the sore.
  • If your child is old enough, have them wash their mouth out a few times per day with warm saltwater.
  • Also, try making a paste out of baking soda and water to be applied directly to the sore following meals. This can soothe some of the aches.
  • They should absolutely avoid eating abrasive and irritating foods such as spicy food, sour candies, and salty chips. After all, it is an open sore in your child’s mouth.
  • In addition, be gentle during oral care routines. This includes checking the ingredients in the toothpaste to ensure no SLS, which is thought to be an irritant to canker sores.

Frequently Occurring Sores

Does your child develop canker sores often? They may need to be tested for food allergies or certain vitamin deficiencies. Also, if a sore does not heal within a couple of weeks, contact your pediatric dentist. They may prescribe your child a topical ointment or medicinal mouthwash.

Further, these sores should not be accompanied by side effects other than being a nuisance to the mouth. If a fever or further swelling occurs, visit your child’s doctor.

At Snodgrass-King Dental Associates, we want you to feel well informed about what can and does happen to you and your children’s mouths. Knowing the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore will help you to better treat the issue. If you are uncertain about why your child’s mouth is hurting or looks a certain way, please request an appointment with us! Regular checkups can ensure that you and your family have happier, healthier smiles.