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Waking up one morning, you find a small white sore with red on the border in your mouth and wonder where it came from. Cankers are not only a nuisance but can cause discomfort when talking or eating. Here at North Texas Dental Associates, we want to give you a better understanding of the mystery surrounding this annoying, small ulcer as well as ways to prevent and treat them.

Simple and complex are two types of canker sores. Simple canker sores, typically occurring between 10 and 20 years old, may appear three or four times a year and last about a week. Complex canker sores, occurring more in people who previously had them, are much less common.

Stress or injury to the tissue is thought to be a factor in simple canker sores, although the root of most canker sores is unknown. A dental appliance or sharp tooth surface (braces or dentures) might trigger sores as well as bacteria, viruses or some immune system problems. Citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables may make a canker sore worse or trigger one to appear.

Irritating foods to your mouth are useful to avoid (including spicy or acidic). Stop chewing gum if irritation occurs. Brushing after meals and flossing daily will help free your mouth of foods that may activate a sore. Over-the-counter anesthetics and antimicrobial mouthwashes may provide momentary relief. Talking to your dentist about which option is best for you will prevent sores from expanding

If you have unusually large sores, sores lasting more than three weeks, spreading sores, difficulty swallowing, a high fever, or elevated pain, call North Texas Dental Associates at 972-535-6647 here in Plano, Texas. We will be happy to attend to your dental needs and ease your discomfort.