Stress and Canker Sores
If you've ever had a canker sore, you know that while they aren't life threatening, they can be bothersome when eating or brushing your teeth.
A canker sore is different from a cold sore. Unlike cold sores, canker sores aren't contagious. They aren't caused by a virus or bacterial infection like a cold sore. Canker sores are usually found inside the mouth or under the tongue. Cold sores are found outside the mouth, often on the nostrils, lips or chin.
- Stress or fatigue
- Citrus or other acidic foods, such as oranges, pineapples, figs, tomatoes and strawberries
- A suppressed immune system due to a health problem like HIV, Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
You also may experience a fever or swollen lymph nodes if you have canker sores. It’s common to feel sluggish and have low energy while affected, but the good news is that canker sores usually heal on their own within one or two weeks. If you have a canker sore that lasts longer, or you experience a lot of pain, your dentist can help. Your dentist can prescribe an over-the-counter remedy or prescription medication to ease your discomfort. Call your dentist if you have:
- Very large sores that spread throughout your mouth
- Sores that last three weeks or more
- A high fever or overwhelming pain
Try to avoid foods that might trigger a canker sore, and brush your teeth frequently with a soft brush. Brushing and flossing daily will help get rid of food remnants that may be the root of the problem. And relax! Stress can take a toll on your dental health.