Having a canker sore can be extremely uncomfortable and bothersome when you drink or eat certain foods. Even without eating, there can be pain. Canker sores can come on quickly, normally with a tingling or burning sensation the day before the actual sore appears. While a canker sore can be annoying, there are plenty of treatments to help treat it. Yes, there are plenty of over-the-counter gels and creams, but there are many home remedies for canker sores that work just as well, if not better than these topical ointments.
What is a canker sore?
Before you can figure out which treatment is best for you, it’s essential for you to understand just what a canker sore is. A canker sore is a small ulcer that forms inside the mouth. Normally you will not get more than one at a time, but there have been some cases when canker sores form in a small cluster. There is a red border along a yellow or whitish center and it can form anywhere from the inside of the cheek to on the tongue.
Causes of canker sores
While no medical professional knows for sure why a canker sore forms in the first place, there are some things that are known to help trigger one including the following:
- Poor diet
- Certain medications
- Minor injury inside the mouth
- Spicy or acidic foods
Those that are within the age bracket of 10-20 years old are the ones to most likely get canker sores. Women are also known to get more canker sores than men.
The difference between a canker sore and a cold sore
Now before you start treating your canker sore it’s also important to know the difference between that and a cold sore. A cold sore can also be referred to as a fever blister. They normally form in small clusters and can merge into one larger blister that ends up popping and leaking clear fluid. The biggest difference between a cold sore and a canker sore is that a cold sore tends to form outside the mouth, directly on the lips and face.
While a canker sore is not contagious, a cold sore is. A cold sore is formed by the herpes simplex virus. A canker sore is not spread by saliva or by toughing the sore, but a cold sore is highly contagious and should not be touched. Someone with a cold sore should not kiss or share any food, drinks or dental hygiene products.
Home remedies for canker sores
Now that you have a better understanding of what a canker sore is and why you are experiencing one, it’s now time to go over some easy at-home remedies for canker sores. While there are plenty of over-the-counter topical creams you can choose to buy, there are other ways to help ease the pain of a canker sore and help get rid of it quickly.
Mix together Milk of Magnesia and Benadryl to help reduce the inflammation. Once you mix these two products together you should then put the mixture directly on the sore with a wash cloth or cotton swab. Do not swallow this mixture.
Sometimes getting rid of a canker sore is as easy as eating right. This also helps prevent them from reoccurring. Be sure to stay away from any spicy or acidic foods if you have a canker sore or find that there is a burning or tingling sensation inside your mouth. Eating these foods will only irritate the inflamed area.
While this type of spice is normally used to make spicy food it is also used to help ease pain from a canker sore. You can find it in some lozenges and it can be effective.
At Home Mouth Rinses
Mixing salt and water is by far one of the best at home remedies you can use to relieve the mouth of canker sores. The salt helps clean the infected area out and the warm water in the mixture helps soothe the pain. You can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to the mix to help offer more comfort to the sore.
For most skin irritations, aloe is the best thing to use. Aloe is also a great product to use when you have a canker sore. Use some aloe juice a few times a day and apply it directly to the sore. This will help soothe any irritation, inflammation and will also keep the sore from getting any worse. Aloe is extremely gentle so even people with sensitive skin are able to use it.
Sometimes all you want is for the pain to stop when you have a canker sore. If you are experiencing a canker sore that is painful, the best way to numb it is simply by putting ice over the sore. While this won’t necessarily help the canker sore disappear, it will help the pain dramatically.
If you have tried some at home remedies to ease the discomfort of a canker sore but still need extra help, it might be wise to try some over-the-counter products. Some of the most common medications that you can find over-the-counter are antiseptic creams, mouth rinses and even lozenges. There are products used to help rid the mouth of canker sores because they are specifically designed to help cover the sore directly and bandage it, keeping it coated and away from infection. They can also dull the pain.
Canker sores can be very frustrating but they are not life threatening and can usually be treated easily with either products you have at home or with over-the-counter medications. However, if you find that your canker sore is still there after a few weeks and is still very painful, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention for a mouth rinse, steroid ointment or pill prescription.