Should I See An Emergency Dentist For A Bad Canker Sore?

I have a canker sore that won’t go away and I am wondering if I should see an emergency dentist. Over the weekend the sore got more painful. It’s pretty big too. When I smile or chew, just the movement seems to make the sore hurt worse. A white pus-like bump is on the top of the sore. I have been tempted to sterilize a need and pop it, but my sister told me that I shouldn’t do it myself. She says it could be infected and make me sick. Is this something an emergency dentist would handle or should I just buy something over-the-counter for it until it heals on its own? Thanks Lorine


We suggest that you try at-home care before you see an emergency dentist. Canker sores usually heal within two weeks, but at-home care can make the discomfort more manageable until the sore goes away. Major canker sores are uncommon and can take up to six weeks to heal.

There are over-the-counter products that might give you some relief, including oral anesthetics or gel pads designed to cover canker sores. The gel pads might contain antiseptics to kill germs. Otherwise, you can buy topical antiseptic if it looks like the sore is becoming infected. The sore can also be treated with a mixture of 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide. Although it isn’t made to treat canker sores, Listerine is a germ killer that can provide pain relief.

Canker sores can result from an injury, stress, illness, allergies, or a dental appliance. Certain viruses or other medical conditions can present themselves in a sore that looks like a canker sore. If the sore doesn’t improve, have it examined by your medical doctor or a dentist.

If during your self-care the canker sore gets more painful or irritated, it will be wise to schedule an appointment with a dentist. There are other unusual symptoms that require the attention of your dentist or doctor, including:

This post is sponsored by San Jose dentists Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and Dr. Rogé Jacob of Hillsdale Dental Care.

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