Fix Canker Sores

Canker sores can be very painful and worsen without treatment. They can also be a symptom of a more severe health issue if they are ongoing and severe. Your dentist does not need to perform any tests to diagnose a canker sore and can offer a number of home treatments that you can try to relieve your pain.

What treatments are available for canker sores?

Occasional and minor canker sores do not require treatment and usually clear up on their own within a couple of weeks. If you have large, unusually painful and persistent canker sores, you may need to seek out treatment. Here are a few options that may be advised.

  • Mouth rinse: Your doctor can prescribe a mouth rinse containing a steroid that can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Topical ointments: There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter topical creams and gels that can help relieve your pain and when applied upon the appearance of the sore, can help speed the healing process. Active ingredients to look for include hydrogen peroxide, benzocaine, or fluocinonide. Other products that do not contain active ingredients are also available.
  • Oral medication: If your canker sores are severe or do not respond to the above treatments, your doctor may advise medication. There are drugs that are used to treat other maladies but that can help heal canker sores such. Two such medicines include Carafate, used to treat intestinal ulcers, and colchicine, which is used to treat gout. Another option may be the use of oral steroid medication. This is usually a last resort due to the serious side effects of steroids.
  • Cautery: For very severe canker sores, your doctor can use an instrument or chemical substance to destroy the affected tissue. Here are a few chemical solutions that may be used to eradicate your canker sores.
  • Nutritional supplements, which may include vitamin B-6, B-12, zinc, or folic acid.
    Silver nitrate can be used to relieve pain from your canker sore though it does not speed the healing process.
  • Debacterol is a topical solution that can be used to treat canker sores and affected gum tissue. This option can help speed healing to about a week.

There are also a number of home remedies that you can try on your own to ease your pain and speed the healing of canker sores.

  • Avoid acidic, crunchy, and spicy foods that will irritate the area and cause further pain.
  • Ice can be used to soothe sores. Place a chip over the sore and allow it to melt.
  • Milk of magnesia can be dabbed on the sore a few times a day.
  • Using salt water or baking soda rinse can help ease inflammation and help keep the area clean and speed the healing process.
  • You may also want to switch to a non-abrasive toothpaste. Sensodyne ProNamel and Biotene are both oral care products that do not contain harsh foaming agents.

If you suffer from canker sores, tend to them as soon as they appear to shorten their lifespan. If the home remedies do not help, call your dentist for treatment.

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