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02Apr2015

Are Braces Triggering Your Canker Sores?

CANKER SORES ARE SELDOM SERIOUS, but they can drive us crazy! These small, shallow ulcers pop up in our mouths and on the inside of our lips unexpectedly and sometimes take days to heal. The good news is that they’re fairly easy to prevent, once you understand their triggers. The bad news is that one common trigger is braces.

Braces Can Contribute To Canker Sores

Some patients, especially those already prone to canker sores, experience an increase in sores when they get braces. This could be because your mouth is adjusting to a big change, or it could be because braces can irritate oral tissue, which leaves it vulnerable to little lesions and infections.

In any case, avoiding other possible triggers and taking good care of your mouth can help you decrease the incidence of canker sores and provide some relief for an irritated mouth.

4 Common Triggers To Avoid

  1. Stress – Stress can weaken your immune system, making it easy for canker sores to form and irritate your mouth.
  2. Tissue Injury – If you already have cuts or scrapes inside of your mouth (from biting your cheek, for example), you’re more vulnerable to canker sores.
  3. Foods – Foods that are high in acidity like strawberries, tomatoes, pineapples and lemons can trigger canker sores. Sour candies are also a common culprit.
  4. Sickness – If you already have an infection in your body, the chances are higher for canker sores.

Some Simple Remedies

Once you learn your triggers, canker sores become much easier to avoid. Limit problematic foods. If braces are irritating your mouth, ask for more dental wax, or have the trouble-spots checked. If stress is contributing to canker sores, try stress-reduction techniques.

After checking your triggers, if you find that you’re still getting frequent canker sores, check your oral care routine.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating oral tissue.
  • Try using toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Rinse your mouth each day with salt water.

Talk To Us If Nothing Seems To Help

There are some other things that we can do to help. It might include checking your braces and brackets to make them as smooth and comfortable as possible. We might be able to recommend some clinical rinses or gels that can provide you with relief.

Do you have any personal remedies and tips that help your canker sores? Share below! We’d love to hear them and pass them along.

Thank you for being such wonderful patients and friends. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Jeramey Jannene used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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