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Braces and Canker Sores - What Patients Should Know

By Kellyn Hodges on January 09, 2014

Braces and Canker Sores - What Patients Should KnowThere are many health and cosmetic problems that are related to crooked teeth and general dental misalignment, which is why undergoing advanced dental care treatment is so essential for looking your best and achieving excellent dental wellness. When you meet with a skilled orthodontist, you'll be able to undergo the treatment necessary to improve your smile. In many cases, this means getting braces.

One issue that a number of patients with braces notice is canker sores. We want to take a moment right now to consider what this is and what can be done to address these matters.

What are canker sores?

Canker sores are a common annoyance that you've probably dealt with at one time or another. They are tiny ulcers that appear in different parts of the mouth. The sores themselves are either white or gray, often surrounded in red. Canker sores are uncomfortable and, depending on where they are located, they can make speaking and eating unpleasant and irritating.

Why do braces sometimes cause canker sores?

There are various triggers to canker sores, and one of them happens to be dental appliances such as braces. What's odd is that the overall cause of canker sores is rather mysterious, and while braces can trigger them into occurring, the exact mechanism for the formation of canker sores is actually unknown. Part of it may be due to the change of the conditions of the mouth when combined with other factors and potential triggers.

What else can cause canker sores to occur?

Some of the other common triggers and causes of canker sores include stress, oral injury, acidic produce (e.g., citrus, pineapples, tomatoes), and tissue damage. One good way to manage canker sores is to pay attention to what may trigger them.

Home Remedies for Canker Sores

For the most part, canker sores will go away on their own without any kind of professional care needed. However, the canker sores may be annoying and irritating, so here are a few home remedies to consider:

  • Rinse your mouth using salt water

  • Use over-the-counter medications (e.g., Anbesol)

  • Eat foods that are soft

  • Avoid spicy/acidic foods and beverages

Professional Care for Canker Sores

For serious canker sores or persistent reemergence of canker sores, sometimes you will receive professional-strength medications. In most cases, this will involve the use of a special corticosteroid ointment to apply to the canker sore or a rinse for the mouth that helps remove harmful bacteria and microbes that may contribute to the irritation or formation of the canker sore.

Talk Things Over with Your Orthodontist

Before you initiate any sort of orthodontic care, be sure to talk with your orthodontist about all of the pros and cons that may be involved. This will help you understand the treatment process as well as any potential risks or side effects that you may face, no matter how minor they may be.

Learn More About Advanced Orthodontic Care

If you would like to learn more about braces and how they may be of great benefit to you, we encourage you to contact our orthodontic care practice serving the Philadelphia area today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile in the process.

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