For those who get canker sores, you know how much pain these small lesions on the inside of the mouth can cause!
Canker sores, also referred to as recurrent aphthous stomatitis, appear on the inside of the mouth, gums, or tongue. These small mouth ulcers usually hang around 1 to 2 weeks and are not contagious. Canker sores can be caused by biting a part of your mouth or from the constant rubbing of wire braces or poorly fitted dentures. But they can also be caused from stress, sensitivity to certain foods, hormonal changes, vitamin deficiencies, and/or weakened immune systems.
Regardless of the source, if you’re suffering from canker sores you can expedite their healing and/or relieve their pain a few ways:
- Apply an over-the-counter gel or patch. Topical gels and pastes can be applied to the sore while patches can cover the canker sore. These prevent the lesion from irritation from foods or chewing.
- Use a mouth rinse with antiseptic properties. This cleans the area, reducing the chance of infection, and provides relief from discomfort.
- Use a salt rinse. A natural alternative to an over-the-counter mouthwash, rinsing with a saline solution can promote healing, as long as a medicated mouthwash was not prescribed in its place.
- Brush your teeth with a soft brush. During outbreaks, a stiff-bristled toothbrush can accidentally irritate a canker sore. A soft toothbrush can still help you clean your teeth without the intensity.
- Avoiding spicy, salty, or acidic foods. Hot drinks and food with crusts or rough edges can irritate the canker sore more and prevent them from healing properly.
- Drinking chamomile tea. Instead of a caffeinated or sugary beverage, drink chamomile tea which has been used historically to reduce mouth pain and inflammation.
Canker sores can be very painful as well as extremely frustrating if they occur regularly. We recommend that you keep track of your canker sore outbreaks to help determine the culprit. Armed with information about their patterns you can make diet or lifestyle changes to reduce their occurrences. And if you’re currently in pain, try some of these easy remedies to help you reduce the associated discomfort and hopefully reduce the ulcer’s longevity.