Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues inside your mouth or at the base of your gums. Canker sores can range in size from 2–10 mm and usually have a white or yellow center surrounded by an inflamed red border. They may be painful and cause difficulty eating and speaking. While the exact cause of canker sores is unknown, many treatments are available to help reduce pain and speed healing time.
How to Get Rid of Canker Sores
1. Topical Treatments
The most common topical treatments for canker sores are corticosteroid creams or gels. These contain hydrocortisone, which helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing. If the canker sore is small and shallow, an antiseptic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide may help reduce pain and promote healing. Another option is a zinc oxide paste that forms a protective barrier over the sore to relieve irritation while healing.
2. Oral Treatments
Oral treatments may be recommended if topical treatments don’t work. These include prescription medications such as antibiotics and antiviral drugs. Antibiotics can help reduce inflammation, while antivirals may help speed healing time if a virus causes the sore. Prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also relieve pain associated with canker sores.
3. Home Remedies For Canker Sores
There are several home remedies that may help reduce the pain and discomfort of canker sores. One simple remedy is to mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds, four times daily. Another effective treatment is applying a small amount of milk of magnesia directly on the sore three times per day. You can also suck on a teaspoon of honey or gargle with apple cider vinegar mixed in warm water for additional relief.
Canker sores can be painful and annoying, but they don’t have to be! With the right treatments and home remedies, you can reduce pain and discomfort and speed up healing time. If your symptoms are severe or persist for more than two weeks, it’s best to see a dentist near you for further evaluation.
A: The exact cause of canker sores is unknown but may be triggered by stress, food allergies, or nutritional deficiencies. Certain medications may also trigger a sore.
A: Canker sores usually heal within two weeks but may take up to six weeks in some cases.
A: Canker sores are not contagious and cannot spread from person to person. They are caused by an underlying issue, such as stress or a nutritional deficiency. If you have recurrent canker sores, it’s best to seek medical advice for further evaluation.