Your doctor or dentist can diagnose a canker sore based on its appearance. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
Information to gather
Before your appointment make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including when they first started and how they may have changed or worsened over time
- All your medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins or other supplements, and their doses
- Any other medical conditions, to see if any relate to your symptoms
- Key personal information, including any recent changes or emotional stressors in your life
- Questions to ask your doctor or dentist to make your visit more efficient
Here are some basic questions to ask:
- Do I have a canker sore?
- If so, what factors may have contributed to its development? If not, what else could it be?
- Do I need any tests?
- What treatment approach do you recommend, if any?
- What self-care steps can I take to ease my symptoms?
- Is there anything I can do to speed up healing?
- How soon do you expect my symptoms will improve?
- Is there anything I can do to help prevent a recurrence?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor or dentist
Be ready to answer questions from your doctor or dentist, such as:
March 19, 2015
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first notice these symptoms?
- How severe is your pain?
- Have you had similar sores in the past? If so, have you noticed if anything in particular seemed to trigger them?
- Have you been treated for similar sores in the past? If so, what treatment was most effective?
- Have you had any recent dental work?
- Have you recently experienced significant stress or major life changes?
- What is your typical daily diet?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and other supplements?
- Do you have a family history of canker sores?
- Canker sores. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/canker-sores.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Canker sores. American Academy of Oral Medicine. http://www.aaom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:canker-sores&catid=22:patient-condition-information&Itemid=120. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Canker sores. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/en/Home-MouthHealthy/az-topics/c/canker-sores. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Recurrent aphthous ulcerations. American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. http://www.aaomp.org/public/aphthous-ulcerations.php. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Mouth sores and inflammation. The Merck Manual Home Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mouth_and_dental_disorders/symptoms_of_oral_and_dental_disorders/mouth_sores_and_inflammation.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. The Merck Manual Home Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mouth_and_dental_disorders/symptoms_of_oral_and_dental_disorders/recurrent_aphthous_stomatitis.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Oral lesions. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 15, 2015.
- Stoopler ET, et al. Oral mucosal diseases: Evaluation and management. Medical Clinics of North American. 2014;98:1323.
- Belenguer-Guallar I, et al. Treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A literature review. Journal of Clinical Experimental Dentistry. 2014;6:e168.
- Akintoye SO, et al. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Dental Clinics of North America. 2014;58:281.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 3, 2015.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 27, 2015.
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