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The mouth is a complex system, and sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything that goes on. Scientists are even a little uncertain about some things.  One unknown issue of the mouth system is the origin of canker sores. These are small, shallow ulcers that can occasionally occur, and can make eating and talking difficult.

Contrary to popular belief, canker sores are actually not contagious. They tend to run in families, but scientists are not sure of what causes them generally. Some experts believe bacteria or viruses to be involved. Occasionally, an injury to the soft tissues of the mouth can also cause a canker sore. You do not need to see a doctor about canker sores, unless this is the first time you’ve had them, or if it is larger than one centimeter. If you have an injury to the mouth, see your dentist.

Unfortunately, there is at present no cure for canker sores. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce symptoms while you wait for them to heal. Over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes may help, as could an anesthetic. Avoid any acidic or spicy foods that may irritate the canker sores! Rinse with warm water; this will ease pain and keep your mouth clean. The pain should fade in a few days and the sore should heal on its own within the week, though this could take up to 2 weeks. Antibiotics from your dentist may help control and secondary infection.

To learn more about canker sores or other abnormalities of the mouth, we invite you to call Cloud Family Dentistry at 501-868-3800. Dr. John Cloud and our team are here to help you in any way we can. If you suspect a problem and are in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, be sure to call us for an appointment as soon as possible.