1. Canker sores
Dental hygienist Arlynn Brodie says canker sores are what she sees most often. “They’re often triggered by things like stress and vitamin deficiency,” she notes. Other possible causes of these small mouth ulcers include fatigue, food reactions and, in women, premenstrual hormones.
Despite their often tiny size, canker sores can really hurt. But they’re not contagious and they usually heal in seven to 10 days. Anti-inflammatory drugs will help with the pain, and rinsing with a solution of two teaspoons of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water will soothe the tissues.
In the meantime, go gentle on the brushing. “You can try toothpaste for sensitive teeth, because it’s less irritating,” Brodie adds. See your dental health professional if a canker sore is very bothersome or doesn’t heal.