What's Up with Mouth Sores
We’ve all had mouth sores. Experienced firsthand the discomfort and anxiety that they can cause. Some of us have dealt with serious medical complications when these sores have grown seriously infected or have come as part of a larger health problem. Most of the time, though, mouth sores are relatively harmless. Irritating and inconvenient, but harmless. There are some things we can do to prevent mouth sores and some things we can do to encourage healing and reduce the chances of further harm if we already have mouth sores. Below are some basic guidelines, but come to Tulsa Modern Dental for a Tulsa teeth cleaning, and you can get the facts firsthand from the dentist.
One of the most common causes of mouth sores is from simple injuries, such as biting the inside of your cheek while eating. Some people can experience sores during times of high stress, as a result of respondent fluctuations in the immune system. Sores can also be a result of viral or bacterial infection. In rare cases, some people will have strong reactions to certain foods or oral products and that reaction can present as mouth sores.
The majority of mouth sores are what are known as canker sores, something that most people will experience at one time or another. In these cases, there’s little to be done but to encourage healing and deal with the discomfort. In rare cases, mouth sores can be a sign of things far worse, though. For instance, early presentation of oral cancer can display as mouth sores. It’s for the low-odds, high-risk scenario like this one that mouth sores are another reason to maintain twice-yearly visits to your dentist for a Tulsa teeth cleaning. While most sores are relatively harmless, you want to be as quick as possible in catching the ones that aren’t.
Preventing Mouth Sores
A variety of variables can contribute to mouth sores, which makes it difficult to prescribe any one method for preventing them. There are, however, some basic guidelines that we can follow. Make sure to get the recommended amount of sleep for your age demographic, as sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system. Try to maintain a low stress level. High stress levels have been linked to an increased risk of mouth sores. Be mindful while chewing food so as to avoid biting your tongue or cheek. Many mouth sores start as a minor laceration in the mouth but then become infected and inflamed. Avoid vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, vitamin B complexes, iron, folic acid, and zinc. Be careful about consumption of highly acidic foods. Some foods have a high enough acidity that they can irritate areas of your mouth and make you temporarily more susceptible to developing sores.
Treating Mouth Sores
Dental lasers may be employed to treat sores in some scenarios, but this isn’t commonly necessary. Most of the time mouth sores will heal on their own within two weeks. In the meantime, to speed things along, there are some basic steps you can take. Gurgling saltwater is reported to keep the injured site clean and speed up recovery. Avoiding spicy and acidic foods can avoid spikes in the pain level as well as increased irritation of the sore. Certain over-the-counter products are available for mouth sore relief. And above all, keep your mouth clean.
Whether you’re experiencing mouth sores or not, it’s important to see a dentist at least twice a year. No one knows teeth like Tulsa Modern Dental, so schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment today!