Canker sores are a type of mouth irritation, that can be quite annoying and painful. However, they can be treated quickly and even be prevented. This HealthHearty article provides a few treatment options to get rid of this condition.
Everyone is familiar with the very painful and irritating mouth ulcers, that make eating very difficult for you. Even though these are small in size, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. They are also known as canker sores, and appear in the soft parts inside the mouth as shallow lesions.
They appear in the inner lips, inner cheeks, gums, or sublingual areas of the mouth. There are a number of ways in which this condition can be treated. The treatment would also depend upon the cause, and severity of the sore.
The causes range from the use of toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, to conditions like stress, tension, trauma, hormonal changes during menstruation, menopause, bacterial infections, and heredity. Other causes include dietary deficiency, consumption of certain anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers, consumption of extremely spicy food, accidentally chewing onto one of the sensitive areas of the mouth, food allergy, lack of dental hygiene, and iron deficiency.
Some people suffer from canker sores just once or twice a year, while some may experience several occurrences. Mild sores may take about a weak to cure, whereas severe ones may take over two weeks to heal completely.
To reduce the pain associated with canker sores, painkillers like ibuprofen can be taken. In case of severe, large or multiple sores, prescription medications such as tetracycline (liquid), and an antiviral like zovirax may be needed. Cortisone steroids like dexamethasone can be prescribed for quick healing. Topical medications like oracort can also be prescribed for application on the mouth ulcers. Medicines like orajel and anbesol are also effective in the treatment.
» Home Remedies
- For pain relief, apply some ice cubes to the affected area. This will numb the area and reduce the pain.
- Consume a lot of cool yogurt, thrice a day. Yogurt helps control the bacteria from multiplying, thus preventing the formation of more sores.
- You can make a homemade mouth rinse by mixing 1 part hydrogen peroxide, and one part water. Use this to rinse the mouth, twice a day.
- You can also rinse with a salt water solution frequently, to help cure the ulcers quickly.
- You can also take vitamin B supplements along with vitamin C and folic acid supplements.
- To protect the canker sore during the process of healing, coat it with a tincture of benzoin.
- Baking soda mixed with water can be used as a paste to coat the affected area.
- Milk of magnesia can be dabbed onto the sore to help relieve pain, as well as cure the sore.
- The milk can also be mixed with diphenhydramine and dabbed on the sore, thrice a day, to relieve the pain caused by sores.
- Hold a used tea bag to the ulcer for a minute. The tannic acid released from the tea bag can help cure mouth ulcers, and reduce the pain due to its astringent properties.
Tips for Prevention
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush, floss, and use an antibacterial mouthwash, at least twice a day. This is also essential for good dental health.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid injury to the gums which can result in a canker sore.
- Avoid the use of toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Check for the toothpaste ingredients before you purchase one.
- Consuming zinc, vitamin C, folic acid, and probiotic acidophilus supplements can help reduce the frequency of sores.
- Avoid the regular consumption of spicy and hot foods.
- Consult a doctor before consuming anti-inflammatory drugs to know their side effects.
If the sores do not go away in a week or two, consult the doctor for further treatment.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.