Canker sore treatment

Canker sores are small ulcers or craters that form on the inner lining of the mouth. They are one of the most frequent reason we have sores on the inside of the mouth. This is a very common problem and up to 40% of the population will have canker sores at one time or another in their lives. Canker sores tend to be seen when people are adolescents and young adults. As people get older we see much less occurrences of canker sores.

One frequent misconception is that canker sores are the same thing as cold sores however they are two totally different processes. Canker sores are otherwise known as aphthious stomatitis. Cold sores are caused by a viral process called herpes simplex. Cold sores are only seen on the lips and outer areas while canker sores are only inside the mouth. Cold sores are contagious while canker sores are not.

While no one knows for sure what causes canker sores, researchers suspect that the bacteria helicobacter pylori which causes stomach ulcers may be one of the main causes of canker sores. Some studies have alluded to this but further research is needed before final determination can be made. As of now it is felt that canker sores can be caused by bacteria, stress, certain food allergies, trauma and a compromised immune system.

These sores can be very painful and it can be hard for a person to eat or drink while having these sores in the mouth. Therefore it’s good to know some good home remedies to help relieve the pain and discomfort of canker sores.

First take ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt and mix it in one cup of lukewarm water. Rinse the mouth out with this mixture four times a day. Do not swallow the mixture rather gargle with it up to one minute at a time. Mix a paste of 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda together until it forms a thick paste. Add more baking soda if needed until the mixture is thick. Take a cotton swab and dip into the mixture. Coat the canker sore with the mixture. Repeat the procedure up to eight times per day. This will soothe the canker sore and help it to heal more quickly.

You can also mix together either 2 tablespoons of Maalox or Milk of Magnesia and 1 teaspoon of Children’s Liquid Benadryl or diphenhydramine (generic equivalent of Benadryl). Swish a teaspoon of this mixture around in your mouth and then spit out the excess. Do not swallow this mixture. This may be repeated up to four times a day. This mixture coats the canker sore and soothes it. The antihistamine qualities in the Benadryl helps to dry up the canker sore in a faster manner.

Mix together one ounce of hydrogen peroxide and one ounce of water. Take a cotton swab and dip into the mixture. Place the cotton swab on the canker sore and coat the sore with the solution. Do not swallow this mixture. The peroxide is an antiseptic which will kill the bacteria in the mouth and around the sore.

There are ointments that can be purchased such as Oragel that will numb the affected area which can be used to soothe the area to make it less painful when eating. Be careful though when using these preparations and do not eat or drink anything really hot or cold as you will not be able to appreciate the temperature of the food or drink and could cause damage to your mouth.

Canker sores usually last up to one week in duration. If they last longer than that period it is best to consult a physician for further medical evaluation and treatment. There are prescription medications that can be given if needed for canker sores that will not heal up with home treatment.

Last updated on Dec 2nd, 2009 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Canker sore treatment”

  1. clayton says:

    I came to this web site to make sure I do not give this to a girl I have canker sores and I wish this on no one I find that mouth wash takes the pain away it helps you eat I am 32 yo and have had this all my life every week or so

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