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The shallow ulcers that appear on your gums and inner lips are called canker sores, and despite their small size and non-threatening nature, they can disrupt your focus for days on end. If you often have canker sores, it’s important to recognize common triggers so that you can reduce the frequency.

Here are five common triggers for canker sores:

1. Stress: This affects your immune system and increases your susceptibility to canker sores.
2. Tissue damage: Biting your cheek or lip can cause canker sores to develop from the injury.
3. Acidic foods: Lemons, strawberries, tomatoes, pineapples and sour treats can irritate the mouth and enable canker sore development.
4. Irritating dental appliances: When your dentures or braces don’t fit well, they can cause friction and create injuries that become canker sores.
5. Illness or infection: Taxing the body increases your risk of canker sores.

Avoid common triggers by reducing your consumption of problematic foods, adjusting dental appliances or adding dental wax to braces, and by practicing relaxation techniques to lower stress. You may also need to adjust your oral care habits by using a toothbrush with soft bristles and sodium lauryl sulfate-free toothpaste to brush your teeth, and then swishing with a salt water rinse.

Contact our office at 586-685-0880 today to determine your options for treatments for canker sores in Shelby Township, Michigan, from our dentist, Dr. Ray McKinley & Brittany McKinley-Holloway.